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OFWs in Hong Kong hold picket protest vs political killings, fascism in PH

Mykel Andrada

By: Mykel Andrada | Squeeze | Published December 6, 2017 | Updated December 7, 2017

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Not only as solidarity, but as strong indignation against political killings and fascism in the Philippines.

Filipino migrant workers, as well as other nationalities based in Hong Kong, stormed the Philippine Consulate in Admiralty, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today to lambast the spate of killings in the Philippines under the Duterte administration.

The protest action led by the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Hong Kong/Macau), and Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR-Hong Kong) held accountable Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for the political killings of two church leaders and eight lumads, among others.

TIDES OF POLITICAL KILLINGS

“For the past three days alone, extrajudicial killings have claimed the lives of church leaders Fr. Marcelito ‘Tito’ Paez and Pastor Leovelito Quiniones, and eight Lumad in South Cotabato defending their ancestral land from a Philippine oligarch. The spate of killings, disregard for lives and rights, and the state of impunity show the heightening fascism of the Duterte government that is fast catching up with human rights violations against activists and ordinary civilians committed by previous administrations in the name of various counterinsurgency plans,” the groups underscored in a statement.

Danilo Reyes of the Asian Human Rights Commission said that “These are the most dangerous moments in Philippine history. We have seen two tides of political killings in the Philippines, yet it is shocking that Filipinos tend to be apathetic, and seem to be used to these killings.” After the dark and bloody history of Marcos’ Martial Law, Reyes referred to the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime’s spate of political killings as the first tide. The second tide is the present Duterte regime’s all-out war against progressives and “enemies of the state.”

Earlier in his presidency, Duterte launched in the country a total war against illegal drugs, popularly known as “tokhang,” which saw daily extrajudicial killings leading to thousands of deaths. Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats, speaking in solidarity, strongly called Duterte’s “War on Drugs” as “ineffective.” According to Leung, tokhang failed to eradicate the illegal drug problem in the Philippines.

CRACKDOWN ON ACTIVISTS AND PROGRESSIVES

The cancellation of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is recently highlighted by Duterte’s pronouncement that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA) and their supporters are “terrorists,” thus, are open targets of Duterte’s “shoot-to-kill” orders.

Prior to Duterte’s tagging progressives as terrorists, KARAPATAN human rights activists Elisa Badayos and Elioterio Moises were killed on November 28, 2017 during a fact-finding mission in Negros Oriental.

Recently, PISTON and Transport Strike leader George San Mateo was arrested on trumped-up charges. KARAPATAN also reported illegal arrests, abductions, disappearances and harassments of farmers, lumads and activists by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Batangas, Quezon, Mindoro Occidental and Mindoro Oriental. According to Cristina Palabay, Secretary General of KARAPATAN, soldiers are quoted as saying “It’s okay to beat up people because of the declaration of Martial Law.”

Ma Jai, HKCAHRPP Secretary General, criticized Duterte’s lack of political will to fulfill his promises and instead hunts down union leaders and other progressives.

SOLIDARITY IN FACING FASCIST GOVERNMENTS

Leo Tsang of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Union said that, just like the Filipino people, “We are all facing fascist governments.” Pastor Joram Calimutan of PCPR-HK vowed to continuously support the Filipio people’s protest against injustice and killings, “until a just and humane society exists in the Philippines.”

Fr. Heribertus Hadiarto, SVD, Chaplain for Indonesian Migrants and China Province JPIC Coordinator, solidly stood in solidarity with the protesting Filipino migrant workers: “One, we would like to condemn the killings in the Philippines. Two, we would like to respect the dignity of human beings… We are united because we love God, also because we love human beings.”

Eman Villanueva of BAYAN-Hong Kong / Macau condemned Duterte’s hunger for power, to the point of considering all his critics as enemies of the state:”He gave a lot of promises, but he failed in delivering them. Now, he wants even more power. For sure, it will be used against us. That power will push us deeper into poverty and wretchedness. We must act, and we must act now!”


Photo Credit: BAYAN-Hong Kong / Macau.

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