On Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau’s visit to the Philippines for the ASEAN Summit 2017

We, the national democratic Filipino youth and student organization Anakbayan-Canada, are denouncing the visit of the President of the United States Donald Trump and the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau to the Philippines this month of November. Their governments continue to commit atrocities to the Filipino people both in the Philippines and around the globe.

In the US, im/migrants suffer because of Trump’s anti-immigration policies. They desperately seek help to save their statuses to remain in the United States. Many of our kababayan call US their home while others have to stay in order to survive and provide for their families.

Back in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte continues to wage war against the people. Firstly, he threatens activists and communities in the countryside under his Oplan Kapayapaan (Operation Plan Peace) that is patterned from the US Counterinsurgency Program. Secondly, President Duterte continues to wage his war on drugs, despite more than 7000 people, mainly from the urban poor areas, were killed without due process as of April 2017. President Trump congratulated Duterte and expressed his support to this bloody war. Finally, President Duterte continues to uphold martial law in Mindanao despite the liberation of Marawi City and the call of the Moro people to lift martial law. The US-backed war against ISIS turned Marawi city to a ghost town.

For many years, the Filipino people have been calling the US Government to return the Balangiga bells to the Philippines. These bells were seized by the United States Army and still has the possession of them.

In Canada, the ruling Liberals, led by the pretty boy Justin Trudeau, have largely maintained the same aggressive support for massively ugly (hideous) international mining sector despite wide community resistance for its proven environmental devastation and human rights violations. Hundreds of families have been displaced by the Philippine Army in September to make way for a mine jointly run by Australian and Canadian firms MRL Gold and Egerton Gold. The community in Batangas Province has been blocking that project foreseen to harm marine biodiversity.

 Two years into their mandate, the Trudeau regime has yet to appoint an independent extractive-sector ombudsperson to monitor Canada’s controversial mining operations overseas. They have not adopted any measure to suspend trade of defense equipment and (nor) reassess all military procurement agreements between Ottawa and Manila.

While there seems to be “Trudeaumania 2.0” in the making, the Philippine mining sector has moved to adopt Canadian practices. The Duterte regime also trumpeted an “independent foreign policy” at the beginning of his term. But as 2017 Asean Summit is about to happen, Duterte becomes a gentle dog throwing diplomatic weight to its longtime treaty alliance with the US. He is just like previous presidents who had become agents of neoliberal economic policies, which interests are biased to capitalist countries and exploits the poor to make the local elite richer.

 There is no need to raise military tension in the Asia Pacific region. Even the IMF economists are raising doubts on neoliberalism, the same monster made as tool for imperialism. More and more millennials prefer to live in a socialist society, where resources are taken and given away for the greater good. These issues can only be resolved by a strong peoples’ resistance movement.

We call for the Filipino people to be vigilant and not be fooled by either good looks or empty promises. Let’s continue to build support and advance the substantial agenda of the peace talks: national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform. Further, let’s broaden our solidarity among the oppressed peoples globally to create a society that is just and with long lasting peace.

Smash Capitalism! Down with Western Imperialism! All power to the Filipino mass movement! Long live international solidarity!

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