PANELS AND WORKSHOPS

 

APRIL 6, SATURDAY | SESSION 1:  9:45 AM – 11:00 AM

 

  • PROTECTING PHILIPPINE SOVEREIGNTY AND THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

 

In 2016, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the West Philippine Sea and instead ruled the Philippines has exclusive sovereignty rights over the region. Despite this, Chinese President Xi Jinping secured 29 agreements with President Duterte focusing on solidifying the “joint exploration” of the West Philippine Sea and further strengthen China’s political, economic, military, and trade interests.  The rising tensions over claims to the West Philippine Sea have caused growing concern over unequal policies and the role of China, US, and other foreign countries undermining the struggle for genuine national sovereignty.

  1.  “DUTERIORATING” PHILIPPINE ECONOMY:  THE IMPACT ON FILIPINO MIGRANTS & WORKERS

In October 2018, the inflation rate in the Philippines skyrocketed to 6.7%, the highest rate reached in a decade. This is an indication that Filipinos are continuously suffering from the ill effects of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, Rice Tariffication Law, meager national minimum wage, and the widespread contractualization scheme by big landlords and corporations. The panel will discuss how the Duterte regime’s worsening neoliberal policies  intensify the poverty in the Philippines and how the masses are fighting back against TRAIN Law, contractualization, and forced migration of Filipinos.

  1.  RISING FASCISM AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS CRISIS IN THE PHILIPPINES

After his visit to the Philippines in 2017,  President Trump expressed support to Philippine President Duterte’s “War on Drugs”, martial law in Mindanao, and counter-terror war. Meanwhile, Duterte’s bloody track record continues to rise with 29,000 victims of the drug war, over 500 political prisoners, and hundreds of thousands indigenous people displaced.  The panel will discuss the current human rights situation in the Philippines and the role of the U.S. intervention in the Duterte regime.

  1.  DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM:  HOLDING THE LINE

As journalists and media personnel play the role of messenger to get the truth out to the Filipino people, the Duterte administration relentlessly utilize legal actions and black propaganda to silence them. Panelists will discuss their experience of facing fascism by a state desperate in silencing the growing voices of dissent.

  1.  SOLIDARITY IS OUR DUTY: REPRESSION BREEDS RESISTANCE

International solidarity is a key component of peoples struggling against oppressive regimes across the world. This has been proven in the experience of the Philippines back in the 70s against the U.S.-backed Marcos dictatorship when U.S. based solidarity movements played helped raise the profile of the anti-dictatorship struggle in the Philippines. This panel aims draw lessons from various solidarity experiences as well as discuss what can international solidarity look like in the time of the rise of global fascism, in the likes of Trump and Duterte.

 

APRIL 6, SATURDAY | SESSION 2:  11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

  1. #BABAEAKO AND DUTERTE’S FASCIST ATTACKS AGAINST WOMEN

Filipino women continue to be treated as sources of cheap labor, commodities for pleasure and entertainment, and victims of militarism and war.  Against a backdrop of a feudal and patriarchal culture systemic within Philippine society, President Duterte’s blatant display of misogyny correlates well with the troubling persistence of violence against Filipino women and children.  Filipino women around the globe have taken to the streets to fight for their rights and mobilized the power of social media to expose the inequalities of power that sustain their exploitation. Among the likes of the #MeToo and #WithYou movements, the #Babaeako social media campaign has bridged the stories of Filipino women who have suffered from sexual harassment, class exploitation  and violence especially during this time of fascism being faced in the Philippines. Listen to their stories.

  1. YOUTH: RISE 4 RIGHTS

In its three years in office, the Duterte government has ruthlessly targeted youth and students: from the execution of students like Kian Delos Santos (17 years old) in the so-called “War on Drugs,” to the censure of school newspapers and illegal arrest of youth activists to silence dissent. Despite this, the U.S. government continues to fund the state forces responsible for such crimes with our tax dollars. Filipino youth in the United States are left with the consequences: a lack of funding for education amid rising tuition, inaccessible healthcare, and housing and food insecurity. Youth and students play a key role in the fight to ensure funding for education and social services here and and defend the human rights of Filipinos back home. Hear why these youth are joining together to #Rise4Rights!

  1. FAITH IN ACTION AGAINST DICTATORSHIP

Faith leaders and members of the clergy have been a target of death and violence for the Duterte regime, especially those who have dedicated their practice to serving the poor.  The country’s Catholic Church has openly criticised the drug war and has extended help to some of the victims and survivors of the extrajudicial killings, earning the ire of the president.  He has even gone so far as to threaten to have a bishop’s head cut off. Church opposition during the anti-marcos movement played an influential role in supporting the dictator’s downfall. Today, faith leaders are rising up once again to denounce a new phase dictatorship in the Philippines.

  1.   BRIDGING STORIES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE:  FILMMAKERS DOCUMENTING THE PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE

Filmmaking is a powerful tool to educate audiences and inspire people to take action. This panel will feature US-based filmmakers connect their art of filmmaking with stories lifting up a shared Filipino legacy of resilience and resistance. Panelists will discuss the topics of their films and how it connects to movements for change in the Philippines and the struggle for genuine freedom and democracy.

 

APRIL 6, SATURDAY | PLENARY 1:  1:30 PM – 2:15 PM

“What’s next? What is the alternative?”

The Philippines have ousted to Presidents through two uprisings dubbed as “People’s Power Revolution.” More than three decades later, the Philippines is again under a brutal and repressive regime. Where do we go from here? Are there any alternatives to this situation? Learn from the panelists as they share their perspectives on the current situation, their strategies, solutions as well as visions for an alternative.

 

APRIL 6, SATURDAY | PLENARY 2:  3:oo PM – 4:45 PM

 

Resolution Building

As a working summit, the summit aims not only to build unity in thoughts but also be a space to discuss common actions. This last plenary session of the National Summit aims to provide a space for dialogue and unity building among  participants on demands and common actions summit participants can take through resolutions.