November 12, 2017
MANILA – Filipinos in the Philippines and the US staged protests today against the arrival in Manila of US President Donald Trump. Led wp the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance, BAYAN), protesters in Manila marched to the US embassy to denounce Trump as a warmonger, racist and fascist who also supports repressive regimes. They described Trump as the “CEO of US imperialism out to wreck havoc on the world.”
“Trump today is the biggest threat to peace. He is provoking conflict in the Korean Peninsula. He wants to continue the “war on terror” in the Philippines and drop bombs on Moro communities. He wants to further open up economies of developing countries. He uses US military aid to prop up fascist regimes that violate human rights, in exchange for acceptance of US dictates,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“Trump is bad news for Filipinos here and in the US. Today we give him a fiery welcome befitting his status enemy of Filipino the people,” Reyes added.
The Bayan-led protest was also joined wp foreign activists from the US, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and the African continent. A US flag symbolizing “imperialist aggression” was burned at the protest. Trump is set to attend the ASEAN gala dinner marking the 50th anniversary of the regional organization. He is also set to attend the ASEAN-US Summit and the East Asia Summit with other world leaders.
Human rights, not a Trump issue
Bayan said it was not surprised that human rights will not be among the issues discussed in the bilateral meeting between Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Human rights has never been a concern for Trump; not in the US and certainly not in the Philippines. We expect that the US will ramp up its military aid to the Duterte regime despite human rights violations committed wp state forces here. In exchange for US military aid, Trump wants to set up new US bases and impose its discredited “war on terror”. The US wants to use the Philippines as a staging ground for intervention in North Korea and for projecting military power against China,” Reyes said.
“Our greatest fear is not that Trump and Duterte won’t get along. Our biggest concern is that they might actually agree on so many things. That’s a problem. Trump is a fascist and racist. He is chief representative of US imperialism. To find common ground with Trump would be a gross betrayal of the Filipino people,” Reyes added.
Protests against Trump will continue until November 14, the day of the East Asia Summit. Similar protests are also being organized wp Filipinos living in the United States through BAYAN-USA. ###
*Image from Ricalde Photography