Author: National EC

Enough Is Enough! Tama na! Sobra na! SONA 2018 Unites the Filipino People for Genuine Freedom from Duterte’s Tyranny

Enough Is Enough! Tama na! Sobra na!

SONA 2018 Unites the Filipino People for Genuine Freedom from Duterte’s Tyranny

No one is buying Duterte’s wholesale betrayal of the Philippine nation and its people.

Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2018 address attempts to force-feed the Filipino people a litany of new empty promises for developing the economy, eradicating corruption, and securing the welfare of the people.  But no smokescreen is thick enough to hide the extreme poverty, impunity, subservience to foreign powers, human rights atrocities, martial law and creeping dictatorship that have marked life in the Philippines for the past two years under Duterte.

No amount of repackaging can disguise the fact that Duterte is promising an intensification of the same bankrupt neoliberal economic priorities, wars of repression, foreign intervention, and political maneuvers to normalize and institutionalize open fascism that have been the hallmark of his presidency since day one.

The Filipino people are confronting Duterte’s lies with united resistance. Across classes, sectors, ages, genders, provinces, political views, theologies, and oceans, the people are protesting together in a historic expression of unity against Duterte’s tyranny.

While the US-Duterte regime continues to claim the success of his war against criminality, the majority of people demand an end to his war on the poor and the impunity with which his police and armed forces reign on the street. In his speech he criticizes human rights defenders saying “Your concern is human rights, mine is human lives.” Are the thousands of people murdered by state forces not proof enough of the true aims of these operations? There is a sharp contrast between what Duterte says and the reality everyday people face in the Philippines.

While Duterte’s Build, Build, Build economic program will squander public funds for infrastructure projects that only benefit big foreign companies and local oligarchs, the people demand national industrialization and free land distribution to generate lasting, stable sources of livelihood in a productive economy that is developed for the interest of the masses. Does the travesty that the government has chosen to increase rice imports instead of investing in the development of local farmers and to evict thousands of people from their homes to clear the way for Build, Build, Build projects not expose the bankruptcy of this approach?

While Duterte has implemented the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) to squeeze more money from the poor and lower taxes paid by the rich, the people demand an increase in the minimum wage to livable levels and an end to labor contractualization schemes that destabilize employment and force more workers in poverty. Is the reality that 21 million Filipinos live in extreme poverty and subsist on barely over $1 USD/PhP60 per day while the prices of basic necessities like electricity and rice soar out of reach and overall government debt continues to climb not proof enough that TRAIN will never address the root causes of poverty in the Philippines?

While Duterte offers federalism and Charter Change as a scheme to foster democracy and transparency in government, the people demand an end to Duterte’s attempts to eliminate political rivals and further concentrate power in his own hands. Without a fundamental change in the social structure of the Philippines, how can a change in merely the form of government or tweaks to the constitution provide lasting benefit for the people?

While Duterte welcomes an increase in U.S. military presence, use of territory, and direct involvement in so-called counter-terrorism operations in the Philippines, the people demand an end to such blatant violations of Philippine sovereignty and such one-sided agreements as the Mutual Defense Treaty, Visiting Forces Agreement, and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. Why would the people want more violence against women like the cases of Nicole and Jennifer Laude, another Mamasapano or Tubbataha Reef debacle, or the expansion of U.S. occupation of Philippine military facilities in Cagayan de Oro and Oyster Bay?

While Duterte touts the millions of dollars in loans from China for his Build Build Build program and the reconstruction of Marawi City and allows the Chinese military to build installations in Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea, the people demand an end to the selling out of Philippine sovereignty to another imperialist power. How can $322 million in loans from China for the rebuilding of Marawi ever benefit the 400,000 evacuees when the loans are geared to benefit big tourism and foreign development interests?

While Duterte brushes aside peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and threatens to crush the New People’s Army before the end of 2018, the people continue calling for the resumption of peace negotiations as a way to address the economic and social inequity which lie at the root of the armed conflict in the country. If one truly wants a durable peace to take hold in the Philippines, does it not make more sense to pursue the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) rather than all-out war?

While Duterte tries to justify the more than year-long imposition of martial law in Mindanao and threatens to expand it over the entire country, the people demand the immediate end to martial law and reject proposals to amend the Human Security Act or institute a National ID System as ploys to further sanction state repression and to contain and control any opposition to the regime’s agenda.  How will adding to the 432,380 Moro and indigenous people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by militarization, 351 people who have been arrested on trumped up charges, 163 victims of politically-motivated killings, or 42,127 schools, churches, homes, plazas and other public spaces which have been occupied by the military make the people more secure?

With the United People’s SONA 2018, the people are creating a powerful movement to end the puppet, fascist and oppressive US-Duterte regime. This is only the beginning, and the movement will not stop until Duterte’s reign of terror is ended and the seeds of lasting, genuine freedom and democracy are planted.

Tama na! Sobra na! Wakasan na ang papet, pasista at pahirap na Rehimeng US-Duterte! [ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE ARE FED UP! End the Puppet, Fascist and Oppressive US-Duterte Regime!]

END martial law in Mindanao and all-out war in the countryside!

JUNK the TRAIN Law! END contractualization! Implement the national minimum wage!

FIGHT for land, work, decent housing and democratic rights!

Genuine freedom and democracy, not Cha-cha and dictatorship!

Bay Area People’s SONA

Los Angeles People’s SONA

New York People’s SONA

 

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July 22-23 BAYAN USA Joins MALAYA Movement’s United People’s SONA Actions in the USA

BAYAN USA will be joining the Malaya Movement United People’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) Actions across the U.S. making the call that originated from the Philippines an international response! We call on all people fighting against the violent macho- fascist US-Duterte regime to join us in standing up for human rights, national sovereignty, and defending democracy in the United People’s SONA!

The US-Duterte regime has angered more and more people as he continues his tyranny, violent fascism, and rise towards a full fledged dictatorship!
There are more than 20,000 killings under his Deadly Drug War. Stop the Killings NOW!
More than 400,000 displaced people especially Lumad under Martial Law in Mindanao. END Martial Law in Mindanao NOW! 
Duterte’s push for CHA-CHA or the attempt to change the Philippine Constitution will only extend his Presidential term along with further liberalizing the economy and allowing more foreign ownership. We must FIGHT for a truly Independent Philippines free from U.S. imperialism and China’s economic and military intervention and occupation of Philippine Islands! National Industrialization for a self-sustaining Philippines and jobs for Filipinos!
END CONTRACTUALIZATION! Demand better working conditions, benefits, and wages for all workers!

DERAIL the TRAIN Law that has only increased the taxes on the poor, while giving tax breaks to the top 40% of the richest population and corporations. In effect it has already burdened the majority of people due an increase in the cost of commodities. 

Duterte’s MACHO-FASCISM must go! Duterte is promoting a violent and misogynistic culture that must be dismantled and destroyed. #BabaeAko

The United People’s SONA shows the growing strength of a broad people’s movement against the US-Duterte regime.  The steady decline in Duterte’s popularity also shows that the people are on the side of justice, democracy, and basic human rights. The fate of the Philippines is in the hands of the people to disrupt Duterte’s path of tyranny and fascism, and to build a better society for the benefit of the majority of the population.

Struggle for Philippine Sovereignty and Democracy, Denounce the Betrayal of the US-Duterte Regime!

 

Struggle for Philippine Sovereignty and Democracy, Denounce the Betrayal of the US-Duterte Regime!

 

On the 120th anniversary of the victorious Philippine revolution against more than three centuries of brutal colonial rule under Spain– the first anti-colonial revolution in Asia against a Western superpower–  BAYAN-USA joins the broad masses of everyday Filipinos bearing the brunt of the crisis-ridden Philippine economic and political system in fighting for an end to our nation’s subservience to the dictates of foreign superpowers over the democratic interests of the Filipino people. Contrary to its original promises, the US-backed Duterte regime has only intensified this crisis and must be exposed for the traitorous liar it really is.

BAYAN-USA joins the worldwide condemnation of the Duterte regime for its gross human rights violations against the Filipino people, including more than 20,000 dead from extrajudicial killings; its abuse of executive powers and fascist acts against democratic institutions; and its abhorrent display of misogyny and male chauvinism among other things. But perhaps the greatest betrayal of the people’s aspirations for sovereignty has been Duterte’s moves to further open up the Philippine economy, as well as land and sea territories, to the unbridled economic interests of both the US and China, as well as tightening the stranglehold of US military presence in the country.

While the Philippines is the 5th most mineral rich country in the world– with over $1 trillion in untapped natural wealth in Mindanao alone– the majority of Filipinos still live in abject poverty and hunger. Sixty percent of Filipino households live under $2 a day. The dearth of viable jobs forces over 6,000 Filipinos to leave the country daily in search of work abroad. Those who stay are hit with excessive taxes which go to the pockets of the rich instead of services for the masses. The socio-economic crisis suffered by the Filipino people has reached new heights as Duterte continues to cling onto the neoliberal economic policies of his predecessors, proving he is not an agent of change but in fact a proponent of the status quo– the rule of reactionary traditional politicians who have kept the country mired in semi-feudal, semi-colonial purgatory, chained to a bankrupt system that prevents genuine self-reliance and sustainable development for the benefit of its people.

In addition, Duterte has maintained martial law in all of Mindanao and threatens to extend martial law across the whole of the Philippines, claiming that there is “no difference actually between martial law and a declaration of national emergency.” He continues to cite “lawlessness” as an excuse to abuse his power and rise toward full-fledged dictatorship, when in actuality he is the criminal-in-chief committing rampant human rights violations against the people. Duterte’s streak of removing his opposition from any position of power is a move to consolidate control of the government in its totality.  

We join the Filipino people in struggling to continue the unfinished revolution of 1898, which sought the genuine national liberation of the Philippines from a colonial master. For this to be possible, the people must unite and struggle against the current rotten, fascist and murderous traitor in Malacanang, just as the Filipino people did back in 1986, and again in 2001.

It is clear from our history that change is not borne from presidents or leaders, but from arduous and valiant people’s struggle, which is the real legacy of the Philippine revolution to be celebrated today.

#HINDIpendence Day Action in the Philippines

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One Year of Martial Law in Mindanao: In the Face of Duterte’s violent attacks, the People’s Resistance Grows Stronger

Image credit: Maybelle Guerrero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Year of Martial Law in Mindanao: In the Face of Duterte’s violent attacks, the People’s Resistance Grows Stronger

May 23rd, 2018 marks one year that martial law in Mindanao was declared by Duterte under the guise of fighting terrorism, in line with his U.S. master’s “War on Terror.” Despite Duterte claiming victory in Marawi City against the Maute group  in October 2017, the regime has kept martial law in full effect, to continue violent political repression across the whole island. The impacts on the Filipino people have now been amplified with the start of the U.S.-Philippines Balikatan exercises this month, for which Duterte has welcomed more than 8,000 U.S. and Philippine troops to conduct war exercises and training side by side. BAYAN-USA calls for the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao and an end to U.S. imperialism in the Philippines!   

Mindanao is one of the largest and most strategically situated and resource-rich islands of the 7,000 islands of the Philippines. It is home to the largest concentration of Bangsamoro people asserting their right to self-determination in the country, as well as a stronghold of the Provisional Revolutionary Government represented by the National Democratic Front (NDF), which is waging a revolution for national democracy. Well aware of this, Duterte has continued martial law in an attempt to impose his power against his strongest opposition. Far from succeeding in crushing the opposition, Duterte’s tyrannical rule has instead driven nearly half a million people from their homes in Marawi and indigenous communities throughout Mindanao, subjected children and families to the occupation of their schools and residences, imprisoned hundreds of activists on trumped up charges, and killed dozens of peasants, farmers and Lumad organizers.

Duterte’s maneuvers towards dictatorship are becoming more and more evident, with the recent forced removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno–a critic of Duterte’s Drug War–now consolidating his control over all three branches of government. This comes on the heels of the U.S.-Duterte regime’s declaration of a ludicrous “terror list” of 600 people including priests and other faith leaders, a U.N. special rapporteur, and former lawmakers. Duterte’s troll army, attacks on independent media outlets like Rappler, and media blackout continue to be used to control public opinion and propagate a false sense of his popularity. Time magazine recognized Duterte as one of the “strongmen” profiled in their front page story “Rise of the Strongman,” alongside Vladimir Putin and Viktor Oban. Duterte’s self interest in gaining more power and extending his presidency has been his number one objective since he came into power, at the expense of the Filipino people he is supposed to serve.

In the face of Duterte’s vicious attacks, the people’s resistance only grows stronger.

BAYAN-USA calls on all member organizations, allies, and advocates to take a stand against Duterte’s dirty wars against the people. Stand up to defend human rights and democracy, and demand an immediate lift of martial law in Mindanao! Take action in the streets! Hold community forums! Join the phone barrage by MALAYA: U.S. Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship, and for Democracy in the Philippines!

 

Lift Martial Law in Mindanao NOW!

Stop the Killings in the Philippines!

Resist the Crackdown on Activists!

 

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