Author: National EC

27 Years After Bases Rejection, Filipino-Americans March in NYC to End US-Backed Duterte Fascism

September 16, 2018

NEW YORK– Over 300 Filipinos from across the US gathered in New York City for the 6th Congress of the US Chapter of BAYAN, or BAYAN USA, which took place September 15-16. The Congress concluded with a march from Pershing Square- named after General John J. Pershing, a US general during the Philippine-American War known for the massacre of Moros at the turn of the 20th century- to the Philippine Consulate on Fifth Avenue to demand an end to US-supported fascism in the Philippines under the administration of Rodrigo Duterte.

Since his election in 2016, President Duterte has boasted over his notorious drug war that has claimed over 20,000 lives, including extrajudicial killings of indigenous activists opposing foreign plunder of their ancestral lands, church advocates for the rural poor, and human rights activists documenting the actions of the Philippine military in the militarized communities.

BAYAN USA, an alliance of over 25 Filipino organizations in the US, has been part of the international clamor denouncing the drug war and the human rights crisis generated by the US-backed Duterte regime, particularly demanding an end to the Trump administration’s financial support to the Philippine military and Philippine National Police, as well as continuing US military presence in the country.

BAYAN USA and its supporters have also been vocally opposed to the Duterte administration’s economic policies, especially the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN Law. The tax reform bill lowers personal income tax while raising excise levies on fuel and other products. The law hits the poor hard, as the Philippine peso continues to depreciate, and prices of goods rise rapidly, with an inflation rate currently reaching 7%.

“The killings, militarization, and backbreaking poverty and hardship in the Philippines demonstrate that Rodrigo Duterte is the worst disaster to hit the country, more disastrous than any typhoon or calamity,” states Rhonda Ramiro, newly-elected chairperson of BAYAN USA. “We in BAYAN USA are committed to growing the US-based movement for genuine peace, sovereignty, and democracy in the Philippines, especially because it is the US government and its interests in the Philippines that play a historic role in shaping the Philippine economic and political ruling system.”

The final day of the BAYAN USA 6th Congress, which welcomed 11 new grassroots organizations, a majority of which are comprised of Filipino migrant workers, and concluding march and rally takes place 27 years after the historic decision of the Philippine Senate in 1991 to reject the renewal of the US military bases treaty, which led to the closing of the former permanent US military bases in Subic Bay and Clark Air Field. The landmark decision was a call for patriotism and to uphold Philippine sovereignty.

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PNP to Set up Outposts in the US:  Duterte’s Attempt to Silence Opposition!

PNP to Set up Outposts in the US:  Duterte’s Attempt to Silence Opposition!

A recent development in the US-Duterte regime’s attempts to silence opposition has reached beyond the boundaries of the Philippines through allowing the Philippine National Police (PNP) to set up their “Global Police Community Relations” in San Francisco and somewhere along the east coast as stated in the recent press showcase.

BAYAN USA recognizes this as a direct threat by the administration against activists and organizers that have raised vocal opposition to the US-Duterte regime’s violent fascist attacks on the people. Most notorious is the “drug war” against the poor in which there have been more than 20,000 killings mostly at the hands of the PNP and their goons. What other true purpose would the PNP serve to be stationed in the US? Why would the US government allow another country to send their police to the US to set up shop? Their duty would be to surveil, intimidate, and harass the growing movement against Duterte in the United States in the attempt to silence any dissenters while at the same time trying to wash away their “sins” of human rights violations through PR strategies.

According to their PR the PNP say that this is an opportunity for Filipinos to report crimes from abroad in the US and perhaps “maybe in our own little way be able to address their problems especially the emotional problems they will encounter if their loved ones left in the Philippines will encounter also some emotional problems?” This is truly a false notion that the PNP would be able to resolve any issues kababayan raise. We already know that the solutions presented by the PNP have only resulted in violence and death. It is a slap in the face to say that they will resolve emotional problems of people, when the over 20,000 victims killed by the drug war and their families have yet to find justice? 

Duterte’s decision to deploy PNP officials to the US is likely a response the the growing international criticisms on his administration as demonstrated by the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) and other international human rights advocates finding the US-Duterte administration GUILTY of crimes against humanity over the alleged “gross and systematic violations of human rights” in the Philippines as publicly announced on September 20th in Brussels, Belgium. Duterte has already made open threats in response to the IPT verdict saying he will add “foreigners as human targets for Filipino soldiers,” he is simply following through with his threats by ordering his attack dogs in the PNP to stand guard in the US as part of his ever rising fascism. 

We must block the PNP from setting up outposts in the US and call on all Filipinos and allies to join us in standing against this new fascist move by the Duterte regime. We must demand justice for all the victims of the “drug war” and cut all US aid that has supported Duterte’s bloody campaign! The US government has already allocated more than $186.7 million US tax dollars to the Philippine military and police which has only resulted in increased human rights violations. Join the ICHRP US day of action to urge US congress to cut aid to the Philippine military and national police!

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Please join the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP US)in a day of action urging Congress to

Cut Aid to the Philippine Military & National Police!

 

According to Philippine human rights watchdog Karapatan, since President Duterte came to power there have been over 23,000 killings of the poor, the Moro, and of progressive people critical of President Duterte’s dictatorship. The killings are linked to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and their operatives.

The Philippines continues to receive the largest amount of U.S. aid in the Asia-Pacific, with so far at least $184.5 million in U.S. tax dollars going towards the Philippine military and police this year. We do not want our tax dollars going towards the killings and human rights violations in the Philippines.

Please take 10 minutes today to:

 

  • Call your Congressional Representative

 

Find your Representative HERE.

Click on their names to get the phone numbers to their offices and make your calls!

Tell them your name, your city, and your organization (if applicable) and say:

    • I’m concerned about human rights in the Philippines and the U.S. tax dollars going to the Philippine military and police.  
    • They have been linked with over 20,000 deaths under President Duterte who last week was found guilty of crimes against humanity by the International People’s Tribunal in Brussels, Belgium.  

 

  • When the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Bill comes to the floor for a vote, will [Senator/Congressperson _(name)_] ensure that the human rights restrictions on aid to the Philippines are maintained?

 

If your Representative is on one of these committees, please make an additional ask….

  • IF your Representative is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee– please ask them: “Will (Senator______) hold a hearing on the Philippines?”
  • IF your Representative is on the Senate Human Rights Caucus– please ask them: “Will (Senator______) hold a briefing on the Philippines?”

 

San Francisco & San Mateo County Residents! If your representative is Congresswoman Jackie Speier, please also make this special ask: “Will Congresswoman Speier take responsibility for a House version of S. 1055, on Philippines Human Rights? We need her to to take lead on it and not pass it off to another Representative.”

 

Let us know how it went for you! Please email any comments or questions that you received from the congressional office to ichrpus@gmail.com.

 

 

  • Post on social media: “I called Senator ___________ today to ask Congress to oppose US AID to the AFP/PNP @ (phone number). Will you join me?”
  • Follow ICHRP US for campaign updates and to get involved in advocating for human rights in the Philippines.

 

If you’re able to schedule a meeting with your representatives during congressional recess, let us know! Sign-up to help organize legislative visits or take up other work for the campaign to cut aid to the Philippine military and national police HERE.  

 

Thank you for your solidarity with the people in the Philippines!

Sept.21: Never Again to Martial Law! Labanan ang Diktadura!

S21: Never Again to Martial Law! Labanan ang Diktadura!

Filipinos and Allies Across the U.S. Unite to Fight Duterte’s Dictatorship

Artist: Renan Ortiz

As we commemorate the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines by Ferdinand Marcos, BAYAN USA joins Filipinos and our allies across the U.S. unite to fight anew the festering dictatorship of Rodrigo Duterte. We will never forget the lessons learned from 14 years of martial law under Marcos, for the realities of the present day constantly remind us of these lessons from the past.

Duterte’s bloody wars on the poor, the Moro, the indigenous people, and dissidents today—do they not remind us of Marcos’ sweeps of activists on campuses and in barrios, wars on the Bangsamoro in Mindanao, and counterinsurgency program Operation Plan Katatagan?

The thousands of lives taken by Duterte’s police through Oplan Tokhang, the military and paramilitary through Oplan Kapayapaan, and the US-armed and advised war in Mindanao, currently still under martial law—do these not force us to remember the thousands of people martyred by Marcos, his constabulary and army?

Duterte’s attacks on the media, dirty removal of political opposition in the judiciary and legislature, ploys to change the constitution today, imprisonment of hundreds of people guilty only of being vocal critics of his regime—are they not reminiscent of Marcos’ media blackouts, disingenuous Constitutional Convention, and assassination of political rivals?

Duterte’s surrender of Philippine sovereignty for loans and financial investments by the U.S., China, Japan and instruments of neoliberalism such as the World Bank—are these not a reminder of Marcos’s Investment Incentives Law and concessions to the dictates of the International Monetary Fund?  

Duterte’s economic policies, new taxes under the guise of reform and economic acceleration, unabated price increases on basic commodities, continuing contractualization of the workforce, and refusal to implement genuine land reform which are plunging the people into deeper poverty—do these not harken back to the sham economic development program and start of the Labor Export Program of Marcos?

Duterte’s open-armed welcome of the U.S. military in Philippine bases, unabated implementation of the Visiting Forces Agreement and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, and inaction on China’s occupation of Philippine land and sea territory—do these not bring back the worst memories of the Philippines being the site of the largest overseas U.S. military bases in the world?

Donald Trump’s unequivocal support for Duterte, declarations that the Philippines is the “most strategic piece of real estate from a military standpoint,” and $184 million in funding for Duterte’s wars today—how different are these from Ronald Reagan’s staunch backing of Marcos?

The recent International People’s Tribunal convicted Trump and Duterte as guilty of heinous crimes against the Filipino people and the Philippine nation. The brave testimonies of those who survived violations of human, civil, political, and economic rights remind us of the courage of the people who came forward in the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (First Session on the Philippines) of 1980 against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The sharing of the verdict with the United Nations and various parliaments and governments worldwide added strong international pressure on the Philippine government to stop the killings and other gross human rights violations in the country.

The workers, students, women, journalists, teachers, peasants, faith leaders, indigenous people, lawyers, and human rights defenders who continue to speak out and fight against Duterte’s tyranny today embody the spirit of resistance of the people who fought the Marcos dictatorship for nearly two decades.

The mass mobilizations of all sectors and classes of Philippine society on International Workers’ Day, Philippine “Independence” Day, and the People’s State of the Nation Address to condemn the fascist US-Duterte regime call forth the strength and resolve of the millions of people who rose up to topple the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

We will never forget martial law under Marcos. We will never forget the suffering and pain of the masses, but more so we will never forget the people’s courage and unity that persevere today. For the martyrs of the past and present, for the people struggling today, and for the generations to come, we will not stop fighting Duterte’s brand of dictatorship until we achieve genuine, lasting freedom and democracy for our nation.

OUR CALLS:

Never Again to a Fascist Dictatorship!

Fight Tyranny! Resist Duterte’s dictatorship!

Stop the Killings! Stop the Attacks!

Genuine Freedom and Democracy, not Cha-Cha and Tyranny!

Oppose Militarization of our Schools and Communities!

Free all Political Prisoners!

Stop Political Persecution! Activism is not a Crime!

Defend Press Freedom!

Sobra na, tama na, wakasan na! Enough is Enough! End Tyranny!

BAYAN USA 6th Congress Sept 15-16 2018 NYC!

Greetings everyone!

As you may know, BAYAN USA will be hosting its 6th National Congress this weekend Sept 15-16 in New York!  Online Registration will close Sept 10th, 2018. However, you can still register at the door starting on Saturday Sept 15th at 8am!

There are some parts of the weekends events that are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Please share these widely! BAYAN USA Congress Day 1 will have our Keynote Speaker  Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog Chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno and Vice Chair of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and the Resist Imperialist War & Build Solidarity Panel with special guest speakers! In the evening we will host our Solidarity Night Music and Raffle event (see details in flyer)!

In addition to the BAYAN USA Congress, BAYAN USA is taking to the streets and calling for a mobilization action in front of the Philippine Consulate in New York City on Sept 16th. We invite all friends, allies and supporters of the Filipino people’s continuing struggle for genuine sovereignty and democracy to join us as we celebrate the conclusion of our 6th congress with march and rally against US-backed fascism in the Philippines under the Duterte regime. Click here: FB event.

Sept. 16th, March assembly point:
6:30pm at Pershing Square (narrow public area along Park Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets. Meeting location is by the Citibike rack)

We will march to the Philippine Consulate at 556 Fifth Avenue, between 45th and 46th Streets, where we will hold a program.