Migrante demands justice for OFW cancer-patient slain by Manila PNP: Justice for Allan Rafael!

Migrante Philippines vehemently denounces the ruthless killing of Saudi-OFW and cancer-patient Allan Rafael who was under police custody at the Barbosa Police Station in Quiapo. According to his family, Rafael was illegally arrested by policemen in Recto and was forced to withdraw money before being taken into incarceration.

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Under police custody, Rafael related that he was severely tortured by policemen who coerced him to admit involvement in drug crimes solely based on his frail physical appearance. Rafael recently underwent chest surgery and chemotherapy but he was mercilessly subjected to a tormenting ordeal at the hands of the police. His family also decried his body’s embalmment without their consent, an effort on the part of the police to cover-up their felony.

Migrante expresses our deepest condolence to the family of the OFW-victim who was unjustly excruciated by men in uniform despite Rafael being stricken with cancer after sacrificing so much for his loved ones by working overseas. Once again, PNP savages have exhibited their indolence through profiling based on physical appearance.

We are outraged that under Duterte’s reign of terror bolstered by a culture of impunity, the policemen have proactively involved themselves in atrocious crimes of all sorts from kidnapping to extortion and murder.

Instead of punishing erring policemen, the Duterte regime just simply relocated these murderous brutes to other places and worse, promoted some of them like Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna who is now Bulacan’s provincial chief after his Caloocan cops shot Kian delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz. Recently, Bersaluna’s men violently attacked and arrested strking NutriAsia workers, their supporters and members of the media.

In the first week of August alone, we have been accustomed to daily media reports of police-led criminal activities in Taguig, Cebu and in many other parts of the country. The Philippine National Police is standing true to its notoriety as a breeding ground for the worst criminals. Under the guise of the regime’s drug war, PNP cops have unleashed themselves as bloody predators killing and maiming any ordinary citizen who is perceived to be an enemy of Duterte’s misguided war.

Through the government’s labour export program, overseas Filipino workers continue to endure hardships and maltreatment. Many are exposed to hazardous working conditions deleterious to the health of Filipino workers. Allan Rafael returned to the Philippines to fight cancer. Little did he know that he would perish from the worst forms of societal cancers —Tyranny and impunity! We demand perpetrators to be arrested and be brought to justice. We enjoin Filipinos to voice their condemnation of this apocalyptic scale of widespread bloodshed being carried out under the tyrannical Duterte regime!

Justice for Allan Rafael!
Justice for all OFW victims of state-sponsored killings!
Stop the Killings!

 

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OFWs call for scrapping of TRAIN law: TRAIN reduces value of monthly OFW remittance by P3,000, reinforces government use of Filipino migrants as cash cows – Migrante study

(July 18, 2018)

Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International joined calls challenging the Duterte government to stop the TRAIN-induced price increases saying that the new taxation scheme “hits the OFWs and families hard” because it reduces the value of OFW remittances while the government gains more income from TRAIN-related new fees imposed on OFWs and their families.

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Based on their recent study, the average OFW monthly remittance of P20,000 will have a reduction in value of P3,000 because of the decrease in the purchasing power of the peso due to record-high inflation and currency depreciation. According to government data, the value of P1.00 is now only 0.85 cents compared to its value in 2012.

Economic analysts revealed that the Philippines registered the fastest inflation rate ever in nearly a decade. The peso’s depreciation also increased the value of its foreign debts. The currency sank to its lowest level in 12 years, a massive blow to a country like the Philippines dependent on imports which are paid in dollar terms.

“Duterte’s TRAIN will force OFWs and their families to tighten their belts further and take on severe austerity measures to conserve their remittances. Many will be forced to do overtime and do side jobs to increase their earnings while their families in the Philippines will have to reduce their spendings or find additional sources of income,” said Arman Hernando, Chairperson of Migrante Philippines.

According to Migrante, OFWs and applicants looking for overseas work will also suffer the brunt of increased fees of government-issued certificates, particularly those issued by the Philippine Statistics Administration (PSA) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) which are essential documents for overseas employment. PSA and NBI imposed their new schedule of fees due to TRAIN last February 2 and March 12 respectively, increasing their charges by P15.

The study also revealed that the Duterte administration, from overseas Filipinos alone, will generate P9 billion annually from the increased rate of the documentary stamp tax on remittances and at least P100 million every year from the increased charges for birth certificate, NBI clearance, CENOMAR and various other documents.

“Sa pamamagitan ng TRAIN patitindihin pa ang pagsasamantala ng pamahalaan sa mga OFW bilang gatasang baka nito. Paniyak, tulo-laway sa pananabik ang rehimeng Duterte sa panibagong koleksyong kikitain nila mula sa mga migranteng Pilipino,” said Hernando.

Hernando also maintained that “no long-term jobs will be generated since these projects will bring in Chinese laborers at the behest of Chinese private contractors and lenders. It will only induce more resentment from our large local labor pool at a time when the Philippines has already cemented its position as having the highest unemployment rate in the entire ASEAN region.”

Migrante also named some of the private contractors who will rake in profits from Duterte’s Build, Build, Build which will be funded by TRAIN. Among those companies identified are San Miguel Corporation, Megawide Construction Corporation, Japan International Cooperation Agency, China National Machinery Industry Corporation and China CAMC Engineering Corporation.

Migrante argued that more communities will soon be forcefully evicted and more farms will be wiped out to give way to the interests of big developers. “Expect more scenarios like those of Marawi and Boracay,” Hernando warned.

The group joined the petition drive spearheaded by the STOP Train Network and initiated a sign-up campaign at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. Their preparations are now in full swing as they gear to join next week’s United People’s SONA to protest against what it calls “Duterte’s neoliberal and fascist attacks on the people.”

“We can no longer expect the current regime to work on improving social services and spurring countryside development through genuine agrarian reform since the bulk of the budget goes to debt-servicing, importation of construction materials for his pro-elite projects such as the Build, Build, Build. Duterte has already allocated hundreds of billions more from the national budget to intensify his atrocious wars against the urban poor, peasants, Lumads and Moros. Sobra na! Tama na! Wakasan na ang TRAIN Law at lahat ng anti-migrante at anti-mamamayang patakaran ng rehimeng US-Duterte,” Hernando concluded. ###

 

Migrante International denounces violent dispersal of #NutriAsiaWorkersStrike, demands release of detained workers and supporters

Migrante International strongly denounces the state-sponsored violence carried out against striking NutriAsia workers and their supporters. Migrante demands that the fabricated cases against the workers be dropped and the detained #NutriAsia19, including Fil-Am journalists Eric Tandoc and Hiyasmin Saturay, to be released immediately.

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The ferocity of the assault only shows that the Duterte regime would rather win the favor of big greedy businessmen than to grant the legitimate demands of workers for security of tenure, just wages and healthy working environments.

Inutile in ending contractualization, Duterte is also consistent in cultivating a culture of impunity through the PNP’s promotion of Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna as Bulacan’s provincial police chief. Migrante sees Bersaluna’s reemergence as outrageous for it was his Caloocan cops who were involved in the killing of 17-year old Kian delos Santos, the son of a Saudi-based OFW.

NutriAsia and PNP must stop spinning webs of lies in their bid to tarnish the cause of the striking workers who have long been scourged with unjust labor practices. Migrante demands the immediate release of the NutriaAsia19 and all false charges filed against them be dropped. We want to see the vicious perpetrators of the bloody dispersal from PNP and NutriAsia be held accountable.

The violent event in Nutri Asia yesterday is not an isolated case. Rafael Baylosis, Maoj Maga, Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño and many other labor leaders and rights defenders are subjects of false charges and persecution all in the name of maintaining the status quo that favors the exploiting class. Hence, we likewise call for the dropping of all trumped-up charges against these leaders and stop the persecution against them.

Migrante supports the call to #BoycottNutriaAsia products as Filipinos impute guilt on the Duterte regime for its perverse addiction to its age-old Labor Export Program through its refusal to end contractualization and introduce a national minimum wage. As a result, millions of Filipino workers both here and abroad continue to be subjected to modern-day slavery and exploitation.

BOYCOTT ALL NUTRIASIA PRODUCTS!
FREE NUTRIASIA19!
SUPPORT NUTRIASIA WORKERS!
END CONTRACTUALIZATION!
END EXPLOITATION!

Links:

https://home.migrante.eu/pahayag-ng-pakikiisa-at-pagkundena-sa-marahas-na-dispersal-at-pagaresto-sa-mga-manggagawa-ng-nutriasia-at-mga-taga-suporta/

 

 

 

 

Migrante New York Condemns Violent Dispersal of Striking Workers of NutriAsia in the Philippines, Demands Justice for the Arrested Protesters

July 30, 2018

Migrante NY joins the rest of the Filipino people in condemning the violent dispersal and arrest of the striking workers at NutriAsia along with community supporters and journalists.

“Kami sa Migrante NY ay tumutuligsa sa hayagang pagyurak sa karapatang pantao na ipinakita ng kapulisan sa nakaraang dispersal sa NutriAsia strike” (we in Migrante NY condemns the blatant violation of human rights shown by the police of the recent dispersal at the NutriAsia strike) declared April Quibin, vice chairperson of Migrante NY.

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Migrante NY also demands justice for the workers, supporters and journalists who were arrested during the dispersal.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) together with hired goons attacked the picket line of the workers while in the middle of a mass injuring several workers and supporters and arresting at least 19 people including members of independent media. Many of the injured were taken to the hospital including elderly and senior citizens. The PNP accused the strikers and supporters of firing gunshots and the arrested are accused of possession of firearms and drugs–a typical trumped up charges used by the PNP to justify their brutal actions. However videos taken during the commotion clearly showed that the strikers were provoked by the PNP.

NutriAsia is the company that makes famous Philippine food products such as Silverswan soy sauce, Datu Puti vinegar, Mang Tomas sauce, UFC banana sauce, Papa ketchup, Golden Fiesta sauce, etc. that can be found at various Asian supermarkets and groceries across the US. The Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia (NMN) or United Workers of NutriAsia launched a strike and put up a picket line in front of the factory since June 2, 2018.

Over 50 workers were illegally terminated by NutriAsia when the workers formed a union and made demands that prompted the workers to go on strike and set up a picket line in order to fight for their demands. Earlier this year, the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released an order for several companies to regularize their workers-meaning to hire them permanently instead of “contractualization” where workers are often hired temporarily over and over.

“Migrante NY is supporting the call to boycott all NutriAsia products. We demand for the company to end contractualization and to release all the arrestees.” Said Gary Labao, Chairperson of Migrante NY.

He also added “We are launching a campaign to educate the consumers here in NY about the conditions of the workers in the Philippines and will also call to boycott the products of NutriAsia.”

Dominique Liwanag, Finance Officer of Migrante NY claimed “Nananawagan kami sa mga progresibong unyon, lalu na yung may malaking bilang ng members na Pilipino, na manindigan at makiisa sa manggagawa ng NutriAsia sa pamamagitan ng pagrelease ng pahayag at paglahok sa boycott”. (We urge all progressive Unions, especially those with significant Filipino membership, to stand in solidarity with the workers of NutriAsia by releasing solidarity statements and by participating in the boycott campaign).

Migrante NY is also urging the Unions and other supporters of workers cause to go visit the Philippines and see for themselves the conditions of the Filipino workers.

Over 6,000 Filipinos leave the Philippines everyday in search of work abroad partly due to lack of decent jobs in the Philippines as a result of the Philippine government’s continuous adherence to neoliberal economic policy the main culprit of contractualization practices such as the case of NutriAsia. In the main Philippine government’s Labor Export Program (LEP) that systematically sends thousands of Filipinos to work abroad to rely on their dollar remittances to keep the Philippine economy afloat manifests further implementation of neoliberal economic policies.

SUPPORT THE WORKERS OF NUTRIASIA!
JUSTICE FOR THE 19 ARRESTEES!
END CONTRACTUALIZATION!
BOYCOTT NUTRIASA PRODUCTS!

Reference:
Gary Labao, Migrante NY
tel: 914-719-7705
e-mail: MigranteNewYork@gmail.com

NZ, Australian groups denounce ex-Pres. Arroyo’s return to power, Cha-Cha and persecution of MAKABAYAN bloc

PRESS STATEMENT
28 July 2018
NZ, Australian groups denounce ex-Pres. Arroyo’s return to power,
Cha-Cha and persecution of MAKABAYAN bloc

Migrante chapters and human rights solidarity groups in Australia and New Zealand share the Filipino people’s outrage over the latest political circus in the Philippines. After evading accountability over multi-million NBN-ZTE scam and numerous corruption issues, electoral fraud and massive extra-judicial killings led by butcher General Jovito Palparan, ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has succeeded to grab the speakership of the House of Representatives through a coup that became the highlight on the day of Pres. Duterte’s State of the Nation Address.

We denounce the threatened deportation and possible non-renewal of visa for Australian missionary Sr. Pat Fox who is unjustly persecuted upon direct orders of the president. We are further outraged at the latest revival of trumped-up charges against MAKABAYAN bloc leaders Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Rafael Mariano and Teddy Casiṅo. The Arroyo-Duterte tandem is hell-bent to silence critics of government corruption, rights abuses and anti-people schemes.

The Arroyo coup is clearly part of the scheme of Pres. Duterte’s push for Charter Change. Cha-Cha agenda means that political dynasties will continue to rule. Cha-Cha will benefit those hungry for more economic and political power, not the poor who are further burdened with taxes and increasing prices. Instead of pushing for Cha-Cha agenda, the Duterte government can do better by junking the TRAIN law, lifting the national minimum wage and ending workers contractualization.

It is totally disappointing that peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) bogged down as a result of the militarists in Duterte’s inner circle – Generals Aṅo, Lorenzana and Esperon – refusing to sign the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).  From Arroyo to Duterte, government failure to create decent jobs at home continue to force over 10 million Filipinos to work abroad even at the risk of being exploited by abusive employers. Arroyo and Duterte continued to promote labour export and rely on remittances to keep the economy afloat. They refused to heed the poor’s demands that genuine land reform and national industrialization are the most urgent economic reforms necessary to end forced migration and bring about just and lasting peace in the Philippines.

In the spirit of international solidarity, we join calls for justice and demand for Duterte to be held accountable for the 12,000+ extra-judicial killings and the on-going massive displacement of Lumad and other indigenous communities, as well as Arroyo for the 1,206 political killings plus 206 enforced disappearances while she was in power. Having Arroyo as House Speaker, Tito Sotto as Senate president, and Duterte as President with all the fascist generals standing in the way of fruitful peace negotiations is a lethal government against the Filipino people.

Filipinos deserve better. Enough of shamelessly corrupt and murderous leaders in government!

Signed from AUSTRALIA:
George Kotsakis
Chairman, Migrante Australia – gbkotsakis@gmail.com
Peter Murphy
Secretary, Philippines Australia Union Link – peter_murphy1_au@bigpond.com
Peter Brock
Chairperson, Action for Peace and Development in the Philippines (APDP) – p27brock@gmail.com
Andrew Morrison
Philippines Australia Solidarity Association (PASA) – andrew.scott.morrison@gmail.com
Signed from NEW ZEALAND
Mikee Santos
Chairman, Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand – migranteaotearoanz@gmail.com
Murray Horton
Secretary, Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa – cafca@chch.planet.org.nz
Helen Te Hira
Auckland Philippines Solidarity – phsolidarity@gmail.com
Rod Prosser
Wellington Kiwi Pinoy – orodi@protonmail.com

Migrante International’s Critique on Duterte’s #SONA2018

Standing true to his notoriety as a bloodthirsty maniac, Duterte began his SONA touching on his deadly fake war on drugs which has now claimed more than 20 thousand lives. One of whom is 17-year old Kian delos Santos, the son of a Saudi-based OFW who was mercilessly shot by cops while begging for his life. Duterte’s fetish for his bloody campaign would never be complete without castigating human rights advocates and Church people for defending a just cause. Clearly, the misdirection lies with this tyrant regime that never hesitates to kill defenceless poor people on mere suspicion of drug involvement while disregarding the collateral loss of innocent lives.

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One need not wonder as to whose human lives Duterte is very much concerned about. It is of course the lives of big time drug lords and convicts like Kerwin Espinosa, Cayco and Duterte’s beloved kumpadre Peter Lim whose cases were dropped citing lack of evidence despite confessions and convictions. If it were not for the uproar from human rights’ advocates their cases could have not been revisited, albeit frivolously just a few days before Duterte was set to deliver his SONA.

Lest we also forget the diablo’s son Pulong who was the subject of a congressional inquiry on drug smuggling is still scot-free. This great liar and master of deception, Rodrigo Duterte, should discern that what agitates these protests is his regime’s benevolence to these big time drug lords and his sadist contempt and slaughter of the poor.

Rubbing salt on our national wounds, Duterte ravaged Mindanao by waging a war instigated by US imperialists keen on expanding their military presence and ODA involvement (Official Development Assistance) in the Bangsamoro region. After reducing Marawi to ashes and evicting half a million Maranaos, the people are now barred by the police from returning to their homes and ancestral estates which are now apportioned to the military and to big foreign business firms. An EDCA-compliant military base is about to rise up in Barangay Kapantaran while the rest of Marawi is now up for grabs to Chinese-led consortiums. There is no doubt that the imposition of Martial law and the regime’s war against the Bangsamoro people is a scripted calamity directed by US imperialists and big Chinese capitalists with the willful participation of their puppet Duterte and other local lackeys.

Mindanaoans are crying out from the devastation and inexorable suffering the US-Duterte regime has brought upon them. Unique among all the previous presidential crooks, Duterte will long be remembered as the only president who threatened to bomb Lumad schools. In February, he ordered Lumads to vacate their ancestral lands so Palm-Oil corporations can take over. Moros, Christians and Lumads can no longer expect peace and harmony in Mindanao under Duterte’s sway.

In terms of foreign relations, Duterte’s utterance of an independent foreign policy is contradicted by the swelling Chinese militarization of the West Philippine Sea and the expansion of US military presence in the country. In his buffoonery, Duterte offered to turn the Philippines into a province of China to the applause of Chinese businessmen and diplomats. In November last year, he also serenaded Trump with a love song that best reflects his regime’s puppetry and subservience to US imperialism.

On OFWS

 Consistent as a con-artist, Duterte once again exhibited his absence of direction in resolving the issues hounding overseas Filipino workers by yakking parenthood statements devoid of specificity. Instead of ending labour export, Duterte systematized and institutionalized it further through the creation of the Overseas Filipino Bank which is meant to salvage the Philippine Postal Savings Bank from bankruptcy and arrest the dwindling dollar reserves. The bank was an Arroyo-era project that took more than a decade in the making. It finally materialized through the signing of Duterte’s Executive Order No.44 in September 2017 as it also seeks to goad OFW families into receiving their money in US dollars; proof that the Duterte regime is using OFWs to shore up neoliberal dictates for the sake of US economic hegemony.

The TRAIN law has also aggravated OFWs and their families. Securing important documents like birth certificates, CENOMAR, marriage certificates and other clearances were not spared as they are covered by the hiked Documentary Stamp Tax. The skyrocketing increases in the cost of food, transportation and energy have shattered the dreams of OFWs to return to the Philippines. They now need to work more, make cutbacks and be perpetually doomed to modern-day slavery overseas so that their family back home can endure the onslaught of Duterte’s TRAIN.  No allocation from TRAIN shall be used to improve services to OFWs. In fact, the bulk will be used for debt-servicing and to fund Duterte’s pro-elite Build, Build, Build. Hence, Duterte is just hell bent on taxing the poor to subsidize private profit.

Aside from being wretched in subhuman working conditions, exploitation, abuse, serving jail sentences or languishing in death row like Mary Jane Veloso, OFWs have become the subjects of insults and scorn from the likes of Sondos Alqattan, a Kuwaiti social media celebrity who looks down on Filipino household workers with derision for simply having their rights to rest-days and safekeeping of their passports. Notwithstanding the brutal murder of Demafelis and the continuing maltreatment of OFWs overseas, there is no let-up in the Duterte regime’s peddling of Filipinos as cheap and docile laborers to foreign countries through its labor export program.

Never in Duterte’s term will we be able to witness the eradication of the roots of forced migration as long as the regime is stiff-necked in its refusal to introduce a national minimum wage, abolishing ENDO, pursuing national industrialization and instituting genuine agrarian reform through free land distribution to our struggling farmers.

By impairing the GRP-NDF peace process which could have paved the way for significant socio-economic reforms, Lorenzana and Duterte have obliged themselves to advance the “greatest good” of the ruling class and their imperialist masters for the “greatest number” of casualties among the poor.

Exploitation and tyranny

Under this wicked regime, workers’ rights are continually stamped out. Duterte exclaims that he is powerless to end ENDO for he cannot violate laws to achieve this purpose and that the endowment is dependent on congress. Yet, we have repeatedly seen how he gets what he wants by railroading the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao and the ouster of Chief Justice Sereno from the Supreme Court.

Salivating after a new source of corruptible cash, Duterte’s stooges in congress are adamant in withholding the farmers’ Coco Levy Fund through the creation of the Coco Farmers Trust Fund. Indeed, Duterte is good at breaking his promises and perpetuating corruption.

Duterte also bragged about the salary increase of uniformed personnel in AFP and PNP who have been unleashing the torments of hell, enforcing lawlessness among their ranks by sowing disorder and shedding innocent blood in poor communities through the fake war on drugs and the US-sponsored counter-insurgency. Once the amendments in the Human Security Act are enshrined, these armed elements of the Fascist regime will be licensed to commit grave human rights offenses against progressive groups who are standing up against Duterte’s tyranny.

Even in the absence of these amendments, we have already seen how Duterte has employed Fascist force to stamp out resistance. His bogus masquerade as an environmentalist is belied by the military’s forced eviction of Lumads from their ancestral lands at the pleasure of mining companies and the closure of Boracay to the delight of casino-gambling lords. With 48 eco-activists murdered in 2017, international watchdog Global Witness ranked the Philippines as Asia’s most dangerous country for environmental defenders.

TRAIN

Exuding falsehood, Duterte also claims that the TRAIN law has helped poor families cope with rising prices. The poor will never be deceived. In fact, Duterte’s TRAIN is the source of their agony. Duterte is presiding over the exacerbation of an economic crisis. The depreciation of the peso to its lowest in 6 years has increased the value of the country’s foreign debt and significantly decreased the currency’s purchasing power. It has also led to the devaluation of the meager salary of local Filipino workers who are peso earners.

A severe food crisis looms on the horizon since the TRAIN has contributed to the increase in the prices of fertilizers, agrochemicals and the cost of transport. Instead of improving local food production through free land distribution to poor farmers and funding post-harvest facilities, Duterte vowed to remove the remaining restrictions on rice importation.

Charter Change and Arroyo’s comeback

Duterte’s obsession to Charter Change has nothing to do with improving the economy. It is designed to extend his term, cancel next year’s elections and to binge an over-bloated bureaucracy. By establishing a constitutional dictatorship, it also intends to shield Duterte from criminal accountability once his reign of terror is over.

Terrified over his shrinking political capital, the regime is shaken by the growing rift among his pawns. Gloria Arroyo’s ascendance to the House speakership is a demonstration of the intertwining of evil forces. Duterte casts his hope on Gloria Arroyo to escape his impending doom as she vowed to push the regime’s agenda in the legislative branch.

The US-Duterte regime is the main culprit in the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses and Arroyo. For nearly a decade, the Arroyo regime which reeks of corruption and terror yielded more than a thousand cases of extrajudicial killings and hundreds of enforced disappearances including the abduction and torture of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno. Arroyo also faced plunder raps for the diversion of P530 Million worth of OWWA funds to PhilHealth to aid his re-election bid. Arroyo’s return to power is one of the biggest political earthquakes that stunned even Duterte’s allies in congress. Nevertheless, no amount of upheaval will move the unshakeable might of the people’s power.

United People’s SONA

Duterte’s counterfeit SONA delivered before the presence of his corrupt disciples in congress is just an enumeration of his lies, deceit and illusions. It was a cover-up for his monumental blunders and to justify his ruthlessness and unfathomable hatred against the downtrodden and the oppressed. The true state of the nation was delivered right there In the long stretch of Commonwealth Avenue by the urban poor, the peasants, workers, church people, students and the rest of the other sectors who gathered together to express their legitimate demands for justice and resistance to tyranny.

The convergence of different groups and the outpouring of support from various streams and different leanings to oppose Duterte’s emergent authoritarianism through the United People’s SONA is only just the beginning. Our unwavering hope rests in the broad unity of the masses towards attaining freedom, social justice and national democracy.

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Migrante to Duterte government: Declare Sondos Alqattan persona non grata

Migrante International is challenging the Duterte government to declare Sondos Alqattan a persona non grata. The OFW bloc also wants the Kuwaiti celebrity to be blacklisted and be totally prohibited from hiring Filipino workers.

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Despite facing a barrage of online criticisms and backlash from her endorsers, Sondos Alqattan remains unapologetic and stands by her previous controversial remarks condemning new laws giving Filipino household workers a weekly day-off and the right to keep their passports.

“Sondos is symptomatic of the long-standing impunity caused by the negligence of the government which is why Filipinos are continually being subjected to abuse and maltreatment. The Duterte administration should all the more fulfill its promise of achieving justice for Demafelis and other abused and maltreated OFWs,” said Armando Hernando, Chairperson of Migrante Philippines.

Pinky Alamo, spokesperson of SANDIGAN or Samahan ng mga Domestic Helpers sa Gitnang Silangan, thanked her fellow OFWs who also criticized the Kuwaiti celebrity and appealed to them to storm all social media accounts of Sondos to “discredit and eliminate her influence” and use the hashtag calls: #SondosApologize #SondosPersonaNonGrata

“Maraming salamat sa ating mga kababayan na nanindigan para sa kagalingan ng mga DH sa Middle East. Huwag nating palampasin ang mga ganitong panghahamak sa mga OFW. Sama-sama tayong kumilos at isigaw, Stop modern-day slavery,” Alamo concluded.

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