In the ongoing Philippine campaign season, Anakbayan Toronto stands with the rest of BAYAN Canada and BAYAN Philippines in urging the Filipino people to say “No to Marcos-Duterte! No to Marcos Restoration and Duterte Extension!” and fight for genuine democracy in the Philippines.
1. 10-Point Overseas Filipinos’ Electoral Agenda for 2022
Migrant and OFW groups from across the Philippines, Middle East, North America, and Asia & the Pacific came together in November 2021 to unify on these 10 important issues that must be addressed in the upcoming election in order to meet the needs of overseas Filipinos who contribute much to the Philippine economy but receive little services and protection in return.
Recommended Reading: Migrante Canada’s Analysis of the 10-Point Agenda
1. Immediate aid, free repatriation, and assistance to migrant workers and their families.
2. Crack down on illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and other crimes, especially towards women. Hold accountable promoters and accomplices of these crimes.
3. Increase budget for services catering to migrant Filipinos, including those for overseas absentee voting, Assistance to Nationals and legal assistance under the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
4. Save Mary Jane Veloso and other Filipinos on death row or incarcerated abroad, especially women OFWs. Give them free and extensive legal assistance
5. Open embassies, consulates, and Philippine overseas labor offices during weekends.
6. Services and protection for seafarers.
7. Give free, quality, and comprehensive health services, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
8. Stop revenue-making schemes in servicing OFWs (e.g. OWWA membership, overseas employment certificates, PhilHealth premium memberships, other fees required by the Commission on Overseas Filipinos).
9. Stop red-tagging, militarization, violation of human rights and fascism. Continue peace talks.
10. End the labor export program and ensure the availability of jobs in the Philippines.
2. The People’s Agenda
BAYAN Philippines asserts that Filipinos must support political candidates who genuinely fight for the people’s rights and welfare. It order to highlights the calls of the working class and peasant majority of the nation, the following agenda was created to guide our assessment of campaigns and platforms:
1. Assert full national independence of the Philippines against the political, economic and cultural dominance of US imperialism.
2. Uphold the UNCLOS and the 2016 PAC (Permanent Arbitration Court) judgment in favor of the Philippines against China and carry out diplomatic and judicial actions to end China’s encroachments in the West Philippine Sea.
3. End China’s control of the national power grid and the cohabitation of two conflicting imperialist powers in the camps of the AFP in the form of the US personnel and facilities under VFA and EDCA and China Telcom cell towers.
4. Abolish the National Task Force-Elcac and stop the militarization of civilian government agencies as well as the appointment of retired military officers to these posts.
5. Prosecute and punish Duterte and all his accomplices in human rights violations and crimes against humanity, without prejudice to his arrest and arraignment by the ICC, and compensate the victims.
6. Prosecute and punish Duterte and all his accomplices in crimes of plunder and graft and corruption and restore their criminal loot to the government and the people.
7. Release all political prisoners by general amnesty and provide for their rehabilitation and compensation for the violation of their human rights.
8. Resume the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in accordance with the Hague Joint Declaration, reaffirm all agreements that have been previously made and strengthen the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees to prevent the abduction and murder of peace negotiators, consultants, resource persons and staff.
9. Stop the deforestation of the Philippines, the open pit mining operations and the excessive monocrop plantations and concomitant land grabbing by foreign and domestic corporations.
10. Adopt a policy of genuine land reform and national industrialization in order to develop the Philippine economy and use economic planning to maximize the contributions of the public and private sectors of the Filipino nation.
11. Build heavy and basic industries as lead factors in economic development, promote light industry to serve consumer and producer needs and develop agriculture as the basis of the economy.
12. Promote local food production, stop the importation of food that the local farmers can produce and raise the price for buying rice, corn and other farm products for stockpiling.
13. Finance economic development with incomes from the export of mineral ores, fruits and the foreign exchange income from overseas Filipinos, the development of oil and gas resources in the West Philippine Sea and stopping the rampant smuggling out of mineral ores.
14. Enact a minimum wage law that assures a decent standard of living for workers against inflation and restore the security of tenure by ending contracts of less than six months.
15. Raise the salaries of all government employees at the lower and middle levels and ensure that those in the social services get salaries above those of the uniformed personnel.
16. Respect the right of the national minorities to self-determination, their right to ancestral domain and to special benefits in social services due to their long running oppression and exploitation.
17. Expand the social services (education, health and housing) provided by the state and stop the policy of relying on the profit motive of private corporations.
18. Cancel all the onerous foreign loans that Duterte has incurred in plundering the economic and financial resources of the country, unless such loans can be paid for by the bank deposits, investments and property acquisitions made by Duterte and his dummies abroad.
19. Use diplomatic and economic relations with other countries to uphold Philippine national sovereignty, economic development and peace.
20. Adopt and carry out an independent foreign policy for the solidarity of all countries and people for the purpose of peace and solidarity and against imperialist interferences, impositions and aggressions.