Blog

Widespread Cheating: Duterte Uses Elections for Power Grab

The widespread fraud and systemic voter disenfranchisement that plagued yesterday’s elections in the Philippines exposed an ugly truth: in a system that favors the ruling elite at its core, elections will be used as a tool to strengthen conditions of tyranny. In order for the masses of Filipino people to ever participate in free and honest elections, we must start with ousting the festering US-Duterte regime.

In addition to age-old political dynasties buying their way through this election, as expected Duterte used all the dirty tools in his arsenal to ensure outcomes that favor him: spending government funds to support candidates from his cabinet including generals from Operation Tokhang that led the campaign to kill more than 30,000 people from urban poor communities; using police officers to distribute fake newspapers that accused progressive candidates and partylists of being communist fronts; texting of death threats to members and supporters of opposition candidates; and armed intimidation of voters and volunteers at polling places. With more of his loyalists taking office in the Senate, Duterte can ensure his implementation of a perpetual war on the people, leading to more extrajudicial killings and human rights violations of thousands of urban poor, peasant farmers and indigenous people. With the House and Senate in his pocket, Duterte is positioning himself to stack up enough votes to railroad charter change (or cha-cha) to remove term limits for the presidency, solidifying his fascist dictatorship over the Philippines, much like his idol, Ferdinand Marcos did in 1972.

There is too much at stake to allow these elections to pass without protest. Just as people rose up to remove a fascist dictator like Marcos in 1986, we too must rise up, join with the broad masses of people angered by the sham democratic process of elections, and throw Duterte out. And then, we must continue building our power to usher in genuine lasting change that uproots the rotting semi-feudal and semi-colonial system altogether, and moves the Philippines towards a socialist system that upholds national sovereignty, invests in sustainable national industries and agrarian reform, and provides living wages and ample employment for all people.

Never again to Martial Law!

End US Support to the Duterte Regime!

No to Charter Change!

Oust Duterte!

BAYAN-USA Honors International Workers’ Day Calling on Workers to Unite against Duterte’s Rising Fascism

For Immediate Release

May 1, 2019

Contact: Rhonda Ramiro, chair@bayanusa.org

BAYAN-USA Honors International Workers’ Day Calling on

Workers to Unite against Duterte’s Rising Fascism

On International Workers’ Day, BAYAN-USA marches in step with the workers of the Philippines and around the world in resistance to imperialism and tyranny. In the face of spreading global fascism and worsening poverty, workers are at the forefront of people’s’ movements that are strengthening, forging unity and rising up for liberation.

The US-Duterte regime continues its quest to consolidate a dictatorship through the outright oppression and repression of the poor and working masses. Any facade of an effective constitutional liberal democracy has been completely torn at the seams as Duterte ravages the Philippines with his fascist wars on the people that have led to more than 30,000 extrajudicial killings, trumped up charges, illegal detention, rampant corruption, militarism and martial law.

These measures are most of all hurting workers who bear the brunt of anti-people policies like the Rice Tarification law and the TRAIN law, a policy that lowers the consumer purchasing power of everyday people. As the ultimate sellout, Duterte has not only betrayed his campaign promise of ending contractualization of workers, but he also vowed to take on more unequal foreign loans that chain the Philippines as a debt colony of China; these loans impose unequal conditions tied to the aid, such as the requirement of the use of Chinese workers who are being exploited by Chinese contractors for Duterte’s “Build Build Build” projects such as the PH-China Chico River Pump Irrigation Contract, while more than 22% of Filipinos remain jobless. The economic conditions in the Philippines have created one of the largest diasporas in the world, with more than 6,500 Filipinos leaving the country everyday to look for jobs overseas, while the Duterte regime absorbs the over $33 billion in hard earned remittances overseas Filipinos send back home to their families.

Meanwhile, the conditions of migrants and workers in the United States continue to worsen from within the belly of the imperialist beast. Alongside other migrants, Filipinos face discrimination, poverty wages, unstable work schedules, cuts in benefits, and a lack of job security.  Even worse, the Duterte administration leaves Filipino migrants to fend for themselves vulnerable to labor trafficking schemes and Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.

Despite all of this, Filipinos across the United States and around the world are rising up in growing numbers to fight back against Duterte’s rotten dictatorship and join the call for national democracy in the Philippines.  We urge our members and community to stay vigilant in demanding an end to US-backed state repression and human rights violations in the Philippines. We amplify the call to oust Duterte and to cut all forms of US support to his regime.  We stand in solidarity with oppressed workers, migrants, and refugee communities clamoring for liberation, from the U.S. to their homelands around the globe. We call on all people to join the United People’s State of the Nation actions across the U.S. to be held on July 22, 2019.

 

End Contractualization! Junk the TRAIN law!

Unite to Oust the Fascist Duterte Regime!

Workers of the World Unite! Struggle for Socialism!


 

 

 

 

Over 250 People Stage Die-In and Rally at Philippine Embassy in Washington DC to Call for the Ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines

Over 250 People Stage Die-In and Rally at Philippine Embassy in Washington DC to Call for the Ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines

Over 250 Filipinos and allies from across the U.S. rallied in front of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. yesterday, in a protest organized by BAYAN-USA that brought together people from multiple generations, political views, and organizations calling for the ouster of President Duterte. Protesters expressed their outrage at the deteriorating social and economic conditions of the Philippines, as well as the Duterte government’s increasingly violent repression against government critics, human rights defenders, and grassroots people particularly among the poor. Fourteen people staged a die-in at the gates of the Embassy, to symbolize the 14 peasants and farmers killed by the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines in a joint “anti-criminality” operation in Negros Island.

“We’re here in front of the Philippine Embassy to say the U.S.-backed Duterte regime must go!” shouted rally co-emcee Nina Macapinlac, Deputy Secretary General of BAYAN-USA. “Duterte is responsible for the murders of 30,000 people under the drug war and 230 people whose only crime is standing up for their rights. His taxes under the TRAIN law are starving the poor, and his trade agreements with China are selling-out Philippine sovereignty. Duterte must be ousted!”

The rally culminated in a militant march from the main Embassy Building to an adjunct building of the Embassy, where the Ambassador was in attendance at an event. Protestors again staged a die-in at the steps of the building, calling for justice for the “Negros 14” farmers, followed by a noise barrage lasting several minutes.  They also demanded Ambassador Romualdez to “show his face” and answer questions about the human rights violations, martial law in Mindanao, and fascist counter-insurgency programs of the administration that are targeting human rights defenders for assassination or detention on trumped up charges.

Speakers at the rally included leaders from the Philippines Raymond Palatino, Chair of BAYAN Metro Manila, and Ed Cubelo, President of Kilusang Mayo Uno Metro Manila, who are conducting a speaking tour in various cities throughout the U.S. Palatino and Cubelo called attention to the repression being meted out on activists, workers and labor leaders, including those being targeted for their union organizing efforts. Andre Powell, with the Baltimore People’s Power Assembly, and Pamela Brubaker, an activist and professor of religion and ethics, both cited the strong solidarity movement against the Marcos dictatorship during the 1980s and pledged to help build a similar solidarity movement to oust Duterte now. Bernadette Herrera, Chair of Migrante USA, railed against the economic policies of the Duterte administration, demanding an end to such policies that drive up prices, drive down wages, and force thousands of Filipinos to leave their families behind and migrate abroad to find work. Angelica Lim with Gabriela USA described the myriad ways that Duterte has made life for much worse for women in the Philippines, from implementing policies that increase poverty for families to fostering a culture of impunity among police and the military, who are encouraged by Duterte himself to commit acts of rape and violence against women.

The rally ended with chants of “Sino, sino, sino ang terorista? Ang U.S., Duterte–sila ang terorista! (Who is, who is the terrorist? US-Duterte are the terrorists!)” and “Duterte-mismo Babagsak! (Take Down Duterte!).”

The rally was conducted following the first day of the three-day National Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Washington D.C.

View BAYAN USA’s Facebook Live

BAYAN-USA Continues to Demand Justice for Jerome Aba National Alliance Calls for Escalating Actions to Stop Attacks on Human Rights Defenders

BAYAN-USA Continues to Demand Justice for Jerome Aba

National Alliance Calls for Escalating Actions to Stop Attacks on Human Rights Defenders

On the 1-year anniversary of Jerome Aba’s detainment and torture on U.S. soil, BAYAN-USA continues to call for his justice and for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte for his worsening fascism and terror upon the Filipino people.

On April 18 2018, peace advocate Jerome Aba was traveling from the Philippines to the U.S. to participate in a speaking tour about the human rights situation in the Philippines. While on a stopover at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), he was held incommunicado by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency at SFO for 28 hours, where he endured various forms of psychological and physical torture. This all occurred despite Aba having been granted a 10-year multiple entry visa to the United States.  

During Jerome’s detainment, BAYAN-USA members and allies staged an action at SFO while others around the country called the CBP to demand Aba’s release. Despite hours of community pressure, Aba was denied entry and sent back to the Philippines. He spoke publicly at a press conference just hours after landing in Manila, Philippines. Aba revealed that the CBP called him a terrorist, forced him to undress while interrogating him, and put him in front of an industrial-electric fan. After he shared that he was cold, they threatened to shoot him and left him in a room with a gun and grenade on a table. It was no surprise that Aba was targeted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection due to his outspokenness towards ending martial law in Mindanao, criticism of Duterte’s fascist repression backed by U.S. militarization in the Philippines, and his Moro (Muslim) background.  

 

“Psychological and physical torture is a despicable tactic being used to terrorize activists and migrants. However, we have come to expect nothing less from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, whose track record shows that they have ripped apart families, detained and abused children and elders, with innocent people dying in their custody. U.S. imperialism and all of its agencies are the real terrorists, not innocent people speaking up for human rights or migrating as a means of survival,” said Rhonda Ramiro, BAYAN-USA Chair.

 

Equally appalling is the handling of the Philippine government in regards to Aba’s experience. When the Consulate in San Francisco was alerted to Jerome being in custody of Customs and Border Protection, their initial response was that CBP holding and deporting Filipino travelers was a routine occurrence that they could do nothing about. Upon returning to the Philippines, Jerome subsequently submitted a letter to the Philippine government asking for an investigation into his treatment to be undertaken, but that request was met with silence.

 

“When community members met with the Philippine Consul General after Jerome’s press conference, the Philippine Consul General said that he thought Jerome made up the whole story about what happened to him. It is clear to us that the Philippine government is more interested in protecting its relationship with the U.S. than with standing up for the rights of its own citizens, especially those who are critical of the Duterte regime,” said Ramiro.

With U.S. funding and support, Duterte continues to vilify and launch smear campaigns through red-tagging and terrorist-labelling against human rights defenders and organizations, such as Karapatan, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Ibon Foundation, under his dubiously named counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan (Operational Plan Peace). Like Aba, no one is safe from being targeted for speaking out against the egregious human rights violations, forced evacuations, and state-sponsored killings of everyday Filipinos and indigenous peoples.

BAYAN-USA highlights the collusion between the U.S. and Philippine governments in the detainment and deportation of Jerome Aba and continues the call for accountability and justice for Aba. It is a fact that millions of our U.S. tax dollars are funding torture and human rights violations in Duterte’s drug war and U.S.-designed counterinsurgency programs. We call on our members and allies to take part in escalating actions to further expose the corrupt, violent fascist U.S.-Duterte regime and to join the call to oust him from presidency.  Join the action at San Francisco International Airport April 19th 6pm.

 

STOP THE ATTACKS AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS!

LIFT MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO!

 

#JusticeforJerome

#FightFascism

#OustDuterte

 

Become a monthly sustainer via Paypal finance@bayanusa.org or http://bit.ly/Donatebayanusa

Or send funds through apps – Venmo and Cash app @bayanusa to support the Justice for Jerome Campaign

 

References

ICHRP US video about Jerome

Live Stream of Jerome’s press conference // Translation

 

Join upcoming events in the Makibaka U.S. Speaking Tour on the Filipino People’s Resistance Against Duterte’s Dictatorship: