Our Inang Bayan/Motherland, the Philippines, needs our voice and support now more than ever.
Under Trump-backed President Rodrigo Duterte, the Filipino people are currently facing an onslaught of fascist attacks:
- over 14,000 people mostly from the ranks of the poor killed under Duterte’s drug war
- a war on the Moro people, indigenous people, and extended martial law throughout Mindanao
- politically-motivated killings, arrests and detentions on fabricated charges against opponents critical of Duterte’s policies and cause-oriented groups struggling for reforms, under the guise of counter-insurgency and the war on terror
- Charter Change to consolidate executive powers, extend terms of elected officials, dissolve congress, exempt lawmakers and administration officials from paying taxes, remove restrictions on 100% foreign ownership of land and strategic enterprises, and remove the ban on foreign bases without Senate concurrence
- Attacks on press freedom, with administration moves to discredit and shutdown independent media outlets which have questioned Duterte’s actions
Duterte is following in the footsteps of the Iron Fist rule of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos. We must take a stand, speak up, and act now to stop him.
As Filipinos in the U.S., we have a role to play in putting a stop to the killings, ending Duterte’s campaign to silence dissent, and preventing the imposition of full-blown dictatorship in the Philippines. These repressive acts of the government will not solve the longstanding problems of poverty, landlessness, and unemployment that have forced millions of Filipinos out of the country. Enjoining fellow Filipinos to voice their condemnation of these authoritarian acts and desire for a better homeland will significantly contribute to bringing about social justice as a condition for true peace and genuine human rights in the Philippines.
The 1980’s saw a peak in broad international solidarity with the Filipino people during the dark days of martial law under the Marcos dictatorship. The active participation of Filipinos in the US in building solidarity and pressure from all peace-loving peoples around the world played an influential role in the broadening of the democratic movement in the Philippines that eventually unseated Marcos from the presidency.
We are building MALAYA: US Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship and for Democracy in the Philippines. As our name indicates, MALAYA (Filipino for “free”) seeks not only to broaden our opposition from the U.S. to fascism, but also to broaden U.S.-based support for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Philippines. This movement is taking action now to:
STOP the KILLINGS: End Duterte’s war on drugs and on those struggling for change
LIFT MARTIAL LAW in Mindanao immediately
SAY NO to ANOTHER FASCIST DICTATORSHIP in the Philippines: stop the abuse of executive power and curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties
END the SYSTEM OF POLITICAL DYNASTIES and CORRUPTION in the Philippines
STAND for DEMOCRACY: pursue political, economic, and social reforms that benefit the majority of ordinary Filipinos and promote genuine sustainable development in the Philippines.
Initial Conveners: Professor Dante Simbulan; Professor Alma Trinidad; Bishop Eliezer Pascua; Bishop Raul Tobias; Chera Amlag; Professor Nerissa Balce; Dr. Joi Barrios; Rev. Dr. Felicisimo Cao; Josephine Calderon; Pastor Jaime Case; Kenneth Crebillo; Aurora Victoria David; Margaret Dominado; Bernadette Ellorin; Kiwi Illafonte; Joelle Lingat; Ramon Mappala; Professor Ligaya McGovern; Troy Osaki, J.D.; Rev. Father Primo Racimo; Roger Rigor; Professor Robyn Rodriguez; Irma Shauf-Bajar; Professor Neferti Tadiar; Father Toting Tronco; Felix Vinluan, Esq.; Johanna Hester.