Press Statement
19 November 2023

As a voice of migrant Filipinos who are united with the Filipino people, Migrante-International condemns the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in the US for continuing, if not intensifying, attacks on migrants and the peoples of the world.

Filipino migrants and the Filipino people are suffering from the cost-of-living crisis, which is hitting the Philippines especially hard. APEC did not address this and did not come up with a unified pro-people position on the war in Ukraine which could have helped ease the crisis.

Filipino migrants and the Filipino people are suffering from increasing joblessness and landlessness, which are getting worse in the Philippines. APEC did not address these problems, and in fact sought to supposedly reform the World Trade Organization and continue the economic policies that favor big foreign and local corporations and perpetuate the conditions that cause labor export. APEC even became a platform for Philippine president Bongbong Marcos to further sell Filipino cheap labor.

Filipino migrants and the Filipino people are revolted by the genocide being carried out by Israel, armed by the US, against the Palestinian people. APEC did not come up with a united position on the issue, despite the clear and solid basis for calling for at least a ceasefire, which Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei demanded.

Filipino migrants and the Filipino people are suffering from the inaction of the Bongbong Marcos regime on our demands for the removal of state exactions and for improvements in industries and agriculture in order to create jobs in the Philippines and end labor export. APEC simply became another platform for Marcos to try to rebrand or deodorize the disgraced family name, even as he also used precious public funds that are better spent on much-needed social services. 

Filipino migrants and the Filipino people are angry over violations of the country’s sovereignty and territory by the US and China that are enabled by the puppetry of Philippine governments. APEC made a show about the Biden-Xi meeting but did not bring about a significant geopolitical agreement between the US and China and did not yield a unified Southeast Asia and pro-people stand on the US-China conflict.

Filipino migrants and the Filipino people are suffering from increasing racism, xenophobia and anti-migrant sentiments that go hand-in-hand with the rise of right-wing parties and politicians in advanced capitalist and other countries. APEC did not seek to address these problems, but continues to push for the economic policies that fuel these hateful attitudes. 

Filipino migrants and the Filipino people want economic sovereignty in order to pursue people-centered and sustainable development. APEC claims to be a venue for regional cooperation but is actually dominated by the US and pursues a development path that is detrimental to migrants, the people and the environment. ###