Fight for Philippine Sovereignty! Down with U.S. Imperialism! The Filipino people’s struggle for genuine independence continues today
February 4, 2020 marks the 121st anniversary of the Philippine-American War that killed more than one million Filipinos who rose up in an armed people’s resistance against the U.S.’s first war of imperial conquest. Though this genocide is commemorated through the “celebration” of Philippine Solidarity Week, BAYAN USA recognizes that today the Philippines, though on paper an independent nation, is in truth still not free from foreign domination from U.S. imperialism, and now Chinese imperialism. BAYAN USA calls on all people who stand in solidarity with the Filipino people fighting for national democracy and Philippine sovereignty to participate in actions and events for Philippine Solidarity Week to express our growing international condemnation of the U.S.-Duterte regime’s crimes against humanity.
Recently, Duterte threatened to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the U.S. as his retaliation for the U.S. revoking former General De la Rosa’s U.S. visa (1), likely due to his involvement in Duterte’s deadly drug war as Chief of Philippine National Police (PNP), and possibly the recently passed 2020 appropriations act of the United States which provides sanctions against Philippine officials linked to Senator Leila de Lima’s detention (2).
“The people have demanded the termination of the VFA ever since it was enacted, and just like all the other puppet presidents before him, Duterte has taken no action. Instead, Duterte makes empty threats, whenever it serves his personal interests. He backpedals because he is beholden to the millions of dollars the U.S. contributes to him and his administration to maintain his fascist reign. We demand for the VFA and all other unequal agreements between the U.S. and the Philippines to be terminated, not as retaliation, but rather, for genuine Philippine sovereignty!” stated Rhonda Ramiro, Chairperson of BAYAN USA.
Since the launch of its war on terror, the U.S. government has poured billions of dollars in aid into the Philippines, now enabling Duterte’s bloodbath: the war on drugs killing 30,000 urban poor Filipinos, mass raids of the offices of community organizations under the pretense of fighting terrorism, and the political arrests and attacks on anyone who opposes the reactionary government. Duterte’s “Whole of Nation” approach, militarizing all government departments, is further institutionalizing fascism and will only lead to more killings and repression.
In addition, instead of exerting sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea, Duterte has bent over backwards for China, and now even the Philippines’ power grid is under the full control of the Chinese government (3). Duterte dares to betray the Filipino people by offering up our motherland to the highest bidder and allowing for China and foreign corporations to extract and plunder its natural resources. As imperialist rival China encroaches upon Philippine Sovereignty, U.S. imperialism continues to be the primary inflicter of suffering on the Filipino people and principal enemy of the broad masses.
Meanwhile, millions of peasants cannot make a living because Duterte has maintained the backward semi-feudal economy and allowed the big comprador landlords to retain their vast majority of land holdings. To make matters worse, he has allowed imported rice from foreign countries to dominate the markets through the Rice Liberalization Law. Data from the Philippine Rice Research Institute shows that Filipino farmers lost P61.77 billion due to rice liberalization (4). “[This] will turn Filipinos into beggars of imported rice,” according to Amihan secretary-general and Bantay Bigas spokesperson Cathy Estavillo (5). As the people’s hunger grows, so does their desire to resist and overthrow the Duterte regime.
“As long as Duterte continues to be a lap dog to U.S. imperialism and foreign interests, the Filipino people will not be free. We must address the root issues of hunger and livelihood of the people, by building national industries and redistributing the land, ultimately towards genuine independence and national sovereignty,” continued Ramiro.
BAYAN USA calls for the broad masses to join the National Democratic movement in a week of action to:
Uphold and Defend Philippine Sovereignty!
U.S. and China Out of the Philippines Now!
Oust the Rotten Fascist Duterte Regime!
Join Actions & Events in your area or plan an action! You can print these SIGNS!
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BAYAN-USA is an alliance of over 30 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth. As the first and largest international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist and progressive Filipinos in the U.S. For more info, visit bayanusa.org
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