Sunday, February 25, 2018

News Release

News Release
February 10, 2018


Filipino activists today trooped to the Chinese consulate in Makati to protest China’s militarization of the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea as well as denounce the Philippine government’s inaction over China’s “illegal activities”.

The Philippine government had recently said that it could not do anything to stop China’s construction of military facilities in several disputed islands, including one that falls within the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone.

“If the Philippine government won’t strongly protest China’s military build up, then the Filipino people will. We cannot just stand by and allow these illegal activities to go unchallenged. It is important that we continue to defend our country’s sovereign rights to these waters and reefs, lest China think the Philippines has already given up by default,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“We are not saying the Philippines should go to war. Far from it, the Philippines should instead assert the legal victory it already attained in so far as the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone is concerned. International law already recognizes the Philippines sovereign rights to waters and formations within its exclusive economic zone,” Reyes said

Bayan slammed China’s reclamation and construction activities on Fiery Cross Reef (Kagitingan), Calderon, Burgos, Mabini, Zamora ,Panganiban or Mischief Reef, and McKennan or Hughes reef. Panganiban or Mischief Reef lies within the Philippines 370 km exclusive economic zone.

“It appears that our foreign policy is heavily influenced by the Duterte government’s reliance on loans from China. That is not an independent foreign policy. That is a subservient foreign policy,” Reyes said .

Bayan also slammed the recent statements from a Palace spokesperson that said the Philippines will one day be thankful for China’s facilities that the imperial power will leave behind.

“Nanakawan na tayo, tayo pa ang magpapasalamat. It’s like being thankful that thieves returned your wallet, even if it’s already empty. The statement shows everything wrong with Philippine foreign policy,” the Bayan leader said.###

News Release
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 

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