Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International strongly criticized the Duterte government for voting against the United Nations General Assembly committee draft resolution calling for humanitarian aid access and for Myanmar to grant full citizenship rights to Rohingya Muslims.
Shame on the Duterte government. Pres. Duterte’s negative vote is yet another testament to his government’s stance on human rights and social justice and his cold-blooded prejudice against the poor and oppressed.
The Rohingya crisis is not just an issue of border security or trafficking. It has turned into a humanitarian crisis that the UN and the ASEAN should resolve immediately in the most humane and compassionate way. It has become a concern of all freedom-loving peoples and the responsibility of all states around the world.
The world continues to watch in horror as thousands of trafficked Rohingyas are being left to die, without proper food, shelter and protection, women and children being raped, as ASEAN states continue to refuse them entry into their borders.
Migrante International also expressed grave concern over news reports of migrant detention camps and mass graves uncovered along the Thailand-Malaysia border. Thailand’s cruel and militarist crackdowns on trafficked victims and undocumented migrants continue to plague the Rohingya peoples and other trafficked victims.
Migrante International also strongly criticized the Myanmar government for discriminating against the Rohingyas, treating them inhumanely and criminalizing them as illegal migrants.
Migrante International stands in solidarity with our brother and sister refugees and asylum-seekers. Migrants, particularly Filipino migrant workers, are not oblivious to the horrors, hardships and harshness of being turned away, rejected, prosecuted, criminalized and spurned. Where there are conflicts and wars, so Filipino migrants are. Where there are restrictions and stringent immigration measures, so Filipino migrants are. Where there are uncertainties and threats of imminent death, so Filipino migrants are.
Filipino migrant workers are also no strangers to civil strife in their homeland.
In the Philippines, thousands of Lumad communities have been displaced due to martial law and militarization in Mindanao. Heightened attacks on indigenous communities, especially on Lumad schools, have caused thousands upon thousands to flee their ancestral lands in search for protection and in fear of their lives.
The bigger tragedy is that these attacks are perpetrated by the Duterte government through the military, given license by a counter-insurgency program patterned after the US Counter-Insurgency Guide on “war on terror” – the very same policy that has caused millions of migrants and refugees to flee their lands, by the same proponents that uphold labor export and other neoliberal policies that drive peoples to forced migration in search of so-called greener pastures at the risk of danger or even death.
Migrante International calls on all Filipino compatriots and fellow migrants around the world to stand in solidarity with the Rohingyas. Migrante International calls on all Filipino compatriots and fellow migrants to oppose imposed borders and merciless immigration and refugee policies that trample on the fundemental rights of refugees and migrants of the world.
No to borders. Humanity and compassion should know no barriers. ###