#WeFightAsOne: Grill the US-Duterte regime in the fiery cauldron of accountability for its despicable crimes! — Migrante International on the 2019 International Human Rights Day

For the defense of life and liberty, Migrante International is one with all freedom-loving people of the world in observing the International Human Rights Day commemoration. Today, we once again commit ourselves in asserting the fundamental human rights of the Filipino people against a bloodthirsty US-Duterte regime which flagrantly wields its hostility against the interests of the Filipino masses. 

Under the influence of their imperialist masters, President Duterte and his cohorts in AFP and PNP are on a murderous rampage to attack the people’s democratic rights in all fields: political, economic, and cultural. Perilous times are right upon us for whosoever dares to confront the greed of the ruling class and defy Duterte’s despotic rule is persecuted, even worse, branded as a terrorist.

PHOTO: The Catalyst

In actuality, it is the Duterte regime that has been using the entire state-machinery to perpetrate acts of terror. The entire island of Negros alone has been turned into an extermination camp where massacres and mass arrests occur frequently. In 31 October, a raid led by the police and military in the offices of BAYAN, Bayan Muna, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Karapatan, Gabriela, and the National Federation of Sugar Workers brought about the arrest of not less than 59 people, many of whom were distressed transportation workers, rights activists and cultural workers. 

This was followed by more arrests and killings in different parts of the country. Based on figures released by KARAPATAN, there have already been 293 extrajudicial killings, 3,229 illegal arrests and detention, 11 enforced disappearances, about 450,000 forced evacuations, more than 3,000 forced or fake surrenders and 204 cases of torture under Duterte from July 2016 to November 2019. These figures do not even include the violations in Duterte’s fake war against drugs where more than 16,000 deaths are currently under investigation. No wonder, a foreign think tank in June named the Philippines as the 4th most dangerous country in the world for civilians. 

OFW families are not spared from this bloodbath. On 5 July 2019, Bryan Conje, the son of a Saudi-based OFW was found lifeless after being shot by Navotas police. Surfeited by impunity, President Duterte is intent on overindulging cutthroats from AFP and PNP. In due course, President Rodrigo Duterte will face the International Criminal Court to answer for all his crimes as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court are moving forward with their probe into these killings. 

Hankering to quash the waxing outcry of resistance from the people, the US-Duterte regime institutionalized Fascist tyranny through the formation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) in accordance with Executive Order 70. The Whole-of-Nation-Approach allows AFP and PNP to muster all government resources and institutions to impose state terror in furtherance of imperialist interests. 

Faced with the continuing plunder of our country’s resources and violation of our economic rights, the Filipino people must build stronger unity with other oppressed people of the world to resist the imperialist aggression of the US and China. The impoverishment of the masses is aggravated through various Neoliberal schemes like the TRAIN law, state exactions on OFWs, contractualization, rice liberalization law, and the further institutionalization of the government’s labour export program through the impending creation of the Department of Overseas Filipinos. 

The hapless public is squeezed dry to channel more wealth to the predatory ruling class. On the other hand, the cries for help of disaster victims in the northern and southern part of the country fall on deaf ears as the government directs more of its budget to its bloated warchest. Desperate survivors who were out in the streets pleading for food and aid were threatened with arrest by the police and the military. This is the gravity of injustice being inflicted on the most vulnerable segments of the population. 

Contributing to the global fight against Fascism and Neoliberalism as what we are seeing in the broad mass actions in Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Haiti, Lebanon and in many other parts of the world is fundamental to our national democratic experience in the Philippines. The presence of organized Filipinos overseas plays a significant role in exposing the crimes of the US-Duterte regime before the international community. Only Duterte’s ouster and the complete overthrow of feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and imperialism shall give deliverance to the Filipino people from perdition. 

Today, we fight as one and defend together against the ruthless attacks on our freedom and democratic rights. It is time to write our country’s destiny and terminate the sufferings that the Filipino masses have long endured. Let us arise and fasten our solidarity until the day comes when we shall finally behold and revel in the light of the people’s liberation from all forms of tyranny and oppression. 

Defend people’s rights!

No to martial law! 

No to tyranny and dictatorship!

Stop the attacks against the Filipino people!

Stop the killings!

Makibaka, huwag matakot!