Free all political prisoners! Fight for just and lasting peace! – Migrante

solidarity-fastMigrante International joins other sectors in demanding justice and calling for the unconditional release of for more than 400 political prisoners, among them 130 sick and elderly political detainees through a general amnesty.

As International Human Rights Day nears, Migrante reminds Pres. Duterte and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) of the commitment to a just and lasting peace. The release of political prisoners is a major part of the GPH’s political obligation to correct the injustices of previous, as well as proof of its commitment to uphold all previously signed agreements between the GPH and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIHL).

“To demand for decent wages and employment, land for the landless, food and shelter for the impoverished, and basic social services for the people is not a crime, yet more than 400 political prisoners remain incarcerated for having fought and struggled for these basic rights. Their demands are same as ours, their fight not isolated from the Filipino people’s. Their struggle is our struggle. Their freedom is our freedom,” said Mic Catuira, Migrante International deputy secretary-general.

“Unless the Duterte government makes good its promise, we have reason to doubt the GPH’s sincerity in the ongoing peace talks with the NDFP. We also condemn in strongest terms violations of the unilateral ceasefire by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). We call on Pres. Duterte to do away with Marcosian actions and tactics. He must prove himself still worthy of the people’s trust and confidence by holding accountable all human rights violators in the military, police and in government. He must cease from carrying on the legacies of Martial Law by putting a stop to Oplan Bayanihan that continues to terrorize communities,” he said.

Catuira called on all freedom-loving Filipinos around the world to continue to call for the release of all political prisoners and to continue to fight for a just and lasting peace. ###

 

OFWs march vs. modern-day slavery, legacies of Martial Law on Bonifacio Day

 

nov30-2016

“If Bonifacio were alive today, he would be at the forefront of the continuing struggle of migrants and workers against modern-day slavery and imperialist exploitation, and the Duterte administration’s betrayal of the Filipino people by allowing the burial of the late dictator Marcos at the Libingan ng mg Bayani.”

This was the statement of Migrante International as it led overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in the multi-sectoral rally today commemorating the 153rd birth anniversary of Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio.

According to Mic Catuira, Migrante International deputy secretary-general, OFWs and their families belong to the exploited and oppressed sectors. “We are workers and farmers, students and professionals, who were forced to leave the country and be separated from our families out of desperation and poverty, because of joblessness, landlessness and measly wages and lack of social services, because of the growing divide between the rich and the poor.”

Like Bonifacio, Catuira said, Filipino migrants and their families are fully aware of foreign and private exploitation of cheap labor and the effects of imperialist neoliberal attacks on workers of the world. “We feel the effects of the present global economic crisis locally through its effect on our families. Abroad, OFWs have become more vulnerable to all sorts of abuses and violations, such as racism, discrimination, xenophobia in our workplaces and in our host societies.”

Catuira said that the Duterte government’s persistence of implementing the four-decade long labor export policy, which started during Marcos’ time, belies his earlier pronouncements of treating OFWs’ plight as an urgent national priority.

“Instead of addressing the root causes of forced migration through genuine land reform and national industrialization, Duterte had further opened up the national economy to abuse and exploitation of our cheap labor by foreign capital and business interests fueled by the greed for OFW remittances. For as long as the labor export policy is in force, there can be no genuine protection for our OFWs and their families. Government policies and programs, through the continuance of the labor export policy, will not serve to protect and uphold the rights and welfare of OFWs but will further perpetrate modern-day slavery,” he said.

Catuira also called on all OFWs and families all over the world to continue calling for an end to the Duterte-Marcos alliance and all legacies of Martial Law.

“We are here today to affirm our commitment to carry on Bonifacio’s struggle for nationalism and democracy, against tyranny and fascist rule. We call on Pres. Duterte to do away with Marcosian actions and tactics. He must prove himself still worthy of the people’s trust and confidence by holding accountable all human rights violators in the military, police and in government. He must cease from carrying on the legacies of Martial Law by releasing the more than 400 political prisoners. He must put a stop to Oplan Bayanihan that continues to terrorize communities nationwide despite the ongoing unilateral reciprocal ceasefire declarations by the AFP and the New People’s Army,” Catuira said.

The migrant leader called on all freedom-loving OFWs and families to continue Bonifacio’s revolution.

“The struggle of OFWs and their families is not isolated from the struggle of other exploited and oppressed sectors. The problem of forced migration is deeply rooted in the fundamental problems of Philippine society. Our struggle for dignity, rights and welfare, against government neglect and against forced migration plays a very important role in the struggle for genuine freedom and national democracy. The only solution to the problems of the Filipino migrant sector and their families is through system change so that families would not have to separated and broken apart in order to survive. ###

#MarcosNoHero protests go global: OFWs and families call on Pres. Duterte to end alliance with Marcoses

taksil-hindi-bayaniDifferent time zones, weather conditions and thousands and thousands of miles are not stopping Filipinos worldwide from sending out their statements of solidarity and rage, launching mass actions, protest activities and expressing their outrage through social media.

Migrante chapters and Filipino communities in Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Canada, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and United States are joining today’s Global Action Day against the hero’s burial of former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

For overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), immigrants and their families here and abroad, a hero Marcos is not. The real heroes are those who fought the Marcos dictatorship, including those who have been forced to flee abroad during the dark days of the dictatorship. The real heroes are those who continue to seek justice, those who have been tortured, jailed, killed and disappeared during Martial Law.

The real heroes are our “bagong bayani” who continue to bear the brunt of Marcos’ labor export policy that continues to exploit our OFWs’ cheap labor, separate us from our loved ones and place us in dire and dangerous conditions.

Four decades ago, Marcos employed a labor export policy to cushion the blows of a weakened economy through the influx of foreign remittances. Four decades ago, Marcos used the labor export policy to quell our people’s dissent due to widespread unemployment, landlessness, growing poverty, massive corruption and dismal social services. Four decades have passed, the labor export policy has gone bankrupt and has done nothing but aggravate the same economic, political and social ills that are the root causes of forced migration.

Having treacherously buried Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is an insult to our “bagong bayani” who continue to fight and struggle for a society devoid of corruption, tyranny, injustice, imperialist plunder, foreign debt, political turmoil and widespread poverty – factors that continue to drive us away from our homeland for the need to survive.

Migrante International holds President Duterte accountable for this audacious revision of history and blatant disregard of the Filipino people’s collective outrage. His alliance with the Marcoses is a poisonous pact that can and will isolate him from the people, especially from our OFWs and their families for whom he has promised a “better Philippines”. Continuing this poisonous pact means that he subscribes to and accepts Marcos’ governance of dictatorship, puppetry and state fascism.

Migrante International calls on Pres. Duterte to put an end to his alliance with the Marcoses. We call on the president to make good his promise to respect human rights, work for a just peace that would put an end political turmoil and employ an independent foreign policy that shuns imperialist neoliberal dictates. This is what a “better Philippines” means for OFWs and our families.

Filipinos, wherever we are in the world, will never allow the return of the Marcoses to power, nor will we tolerate any moves from the Duterte administration to bring us back to the dark days of Martial Law. Never again. ###

(Photo credits to Migrante International)

garry

Migrante International Chairperson Garry Martinez in London, UK

hongkong

Meme made by OFWs in Hong Kong who will hold their own protest action there later today.

nl

Filipinos and international supporters in The Hague, Netherlands.

rome-italy

Filipinos brave the cold weather in Rome, Italy.

uk6

Filipinos and international supporters at the Philippine Embassy in the United Kingdom.

#MarcosNoHero: Global Action Day set on November 25

 

nov25-global-axn-dayMigrante International calls on all its members, chapters, networks and all patriotic and democratic Filipinos worldwide to join the Black Friday Protest on November 25 to express unity and rage against the Marcos hero’s burial.

November 25 is Global Action Day. All freedom-loving Filipinos, young and old, nationwide and all over the world, are enjoined to launch mass actions and protest activities, wear black and express their outrage through social media.

In Manila, Migrante and its chapters and networks will join the Black Friday Protest in Luneta.

“Marcos is no hero. Generations upon generations of overseas Filipinos know this, especially those who were forced to flee the country in fear of their lives during Martial Law. Siya ang dahilan kung bakit maraming mga kababayan natin ang nawalay sa kanilang mga pamilya noong Batas Militar,” said Marra Macaspac, Migrante-Youth Spokesperson.

Macaspac said that Marcos, his widow and his family remain an international disgrace to Filipinos around the world for all the crimes and transgressions they caused the Filipino people during the former president’s dictatorship.

She also pointed out that it was during Marcos’ time that the labor export policy was institutionalized.

“Now, four decades after, our OFWs continue to bear the brunt of this policy that has placed the domestic economy hostage to neoliberal dictates and the exploitation of our cheap labor. Marcos’ hero’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is a grave injustice and insult to our living heroes, our OFWs,” Macaspac said.

 

“Wherever we are in the world, let us all gather together and hold accountable the Duterte administration and the Supreme Court for this travesty. Let us continue to struggle for justice, genuine freedom and democracy against a system that continues to breed dictators and oppressors.” she said. ###

 

No to Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani – Migrante

image from Interaksyon

image from Interaksyon

Migrante International said that overseas Filipinos and their families join other sectors in strongly opposing the Duterte government’s plan to bury the remains of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“Marcos is no hero. Generations upon generations of overseas Filipinos and immigrants know this, especially those who were forced to flee the country in fear of their lives during Martial Law. Siya ang dahilan kung bakit maraming mga kababayan natin ang nawalay sa kanilang mga pamilya noong Batas Militar,” said Mic Catuira, Migrante International Acting Secretary-General.

Catuira said that Marcos, his widow and his family remain an international disgrace to Filipinos around the world for all the crimes and transgressions they caused the Filipino people during the former president’s dictatorship.

The migrant leader also pointed out that it was during Marcos’ time that the labor export policy was institutionalized.

“Now, four decades after, our OFWs continue to bear the brunt of this policy that has placed the domestic economy hostage to neoliberal dictates and the exploitation of our cheap labor. Burying Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is a grave injustice and insult to our living heroes, our OFWs.” ###