By Staff of Associated Press – MANILA, Philippines — Hundreds of Filipinos protesting Friday outside the presidential palace burned a mock U.S. flag and asked President Rodrigo Duterte to punish police officers for brutally dispersing an anti-U.S. rally and ramming a van into some of the activists. About 1,000 left-wing protesters, carrying placards that read “U.S. troops out now” marched 1.8 mile to the presidential palace in Manila to condemn the violent police action and seek justice for those injured.
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya for Mint Press News – SHANGHAI — (Analysis) The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s non-binding ruling on the territorial dispute between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines is largely misunderstood. Sovereignty or ownership of disputed land formations were never going to be adjudicated or awarded as many Filipinos and Filipinas thought or were led to believe by the past and present leadership of the Philippines. What the Permanent Court of Arbitration tribunal studied were the geo-legal status definitions of the disputed territory.
By Mark Ambay for Truthout – When Philippine President Benigno Aquino III assumed power in 2010, he promised to stop extrajudicial killings in the country. Six years later, with his term ending, he has yet to live up to his promise. Aquino won the presidency on an anti-corruption platform and a call for change and development. His mother, Corazon Aquino, was also the country’s president from 1986 to 1992. Aquino has been described by critics as an inept landlord president whose policies are elitist due to his insensitivity to the plights of his countrymen and women.
By Nina Macapinlac for Bayan USA Northeast – NEW YORK – Filipinos and concerned allies held a flash mobilization on April 27 at Columbus Circle to condemn the return of U.S. military bases to the Philippines and to mark the second anniversary of the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Protesters unfurled a large banner at the feet of the Christopher Columbus statue to condemn unequal military agreements like EDCA and to call for the removal of all U.S. troops from the Philippines. The rally denounced the opening of five U.S. military bases in the Philippines, which was made official this past March, and called for the defense of Philippine national sovereignty.
By Mark Saludes for UCA News – Several Catholic bishops have expressed opposition to the planned building of U.S. military facilities in five Philippine provinces in the coming months. “U.S. military bases in the country will create more problems than solutions,” said Bishop Roberto Mallari of San Jose in Nueva Ecija province. One of the facilities will be built in Mallari’s diocese under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the United States and Philippines.
By Nina Macapinlac and Matt Smith for Philippine Solidarity. New Jersey – To announce its official launch, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee condemns to the utmost extent today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) in New Zealand. As an anti-imperialist coalition of individuals and organizations, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee opposes the TPP as a one-sided “free trade” agreement that will only benefit the interests of the global elite class at the expense of the poor and working class peoples of the world, especially in underdeveloped countries like the Philippines. Incidentally, the New Jersey Philippine Solidarity Committee also commemorates today as the 117th anniversary of the Philippine American War as part of BAYAN USA’s Philippine Solidarity Week.
By Vanessa Lucas and Azadeh Shahshahani for FPIF – The Filipino people are under attack. The Lumad, for example — an indigenous group in the southern Philippines — are being forced to leave their ancestral lands and the source of their livelihood to make way for mining operations and land conversion. Resistance is deadly. In the month of August alone, there were two massacres that left nine dead. On August 30, the army and paramilitary forces occupied the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development, an award winning school for indigenous youth.
By Dakila Media. Quezon City, Philippines – Thousands of Filipinos marched for climate justice today, November 28, and converged at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. Broad groups of social movements, religious groups, trade unions, farmers, urban poor and NGOs took part in the Climate March carrying climate related issues – energy transformation; right to food, land and water; justice and reparations for affected people; protecting our common home (from Laudato Si); jobs and just transition; and carbon emissions reduction. For the artist-activist group Dakila, the climate march is crucial in ensuring that the world listens to the voice of the Filipino youth who fears for their very own survival when no deal is sealed at the COP21 in Paris. Youth members of Dakila, differing from the general festive theme of the assembly, held a funeral march carrying with them images of their own gravestone inscribed with their own epitaph.
By Staff of Dakila – Manila, Philippines — Thousands of cyclists gather for the 16th Tour of the Fireflies to promote bicycles as part of a long-term solution to traffic congestion, mass transportation, air and noise pollution, and climate change. The 16th Tour of the Fireflies is organized by the Firefly Brigade, a non-profit organization that promotes the use of bicycle for clean air and sustainable communities. Dubbed as The B.I.G. Ride – Bicycles InteGral to Mobility Solutions, the tour will be held on November 15, days before world leaders converge in Manila for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. “Together with bicyclists from all over the Philippines, the 16th Tour of the Fireflies 2015 calls the attention of the region’s leaders to urgent action to the grave consequences of Climate Change on vulnerable economies and its people
By Bernadette Ellorin for International Peoples’ Tribunal – In the first day of an International Peoples’ Tribunal in D.C. yesterday, victims and expert witnesses to torture, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, forced evacuations, and violations of international humanitarian law gave testimonies drawing strong connection between the U.S. and Philippine governments’ collaboration and culpability in perpetrating these abuses. Cynthia Jaramillo shared details on the torture and murder of her husband, a member of the New Peoples’ Army, along with 6 other combatants and 2 unarmed civilians in September 2014: “They were not killed during a legitimate running battle with the AFP. The state of their bodies when recovered clearly indicated the torture, willful killing, and desecration of the remains. Almost all of them suffered from non-encounter wounds according to the post-mortem reports and the review of evidence by forensic experts.”
“To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change…. I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian Ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps, to the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Nile where lives and livelihoods are drowned… And if that is not enough, you may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right now.” – Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano addressing the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw, following Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Philippine climate change envoy Naderev Sano will on Saturday reach ground zero of the strongest typhoon ever to hit land, completing an epic march he believes will help spur global warming action.People’s Climate Walk Sano will end his 1,000-kilometre (660-mile) trek in Tacloban, a major city in the central Philippines that was among the worst hit when Super Typhoon Haiyan crashed in off the Pacific Ocean exactly one year ago. “It’s been a wonderful journey. Physically, the walk is starting to take a toll on my leg… but everyone is in high spirits and so am I,” Sano told AFP as he reached the final rest-stop in the typhoon-damaged town of Basey. Sano and 12 other walkers have travelled an average of 25 kilometres a day since leaving the nation’s capital, Manila, more than a month ago. Sano is the Philippine representative to the United Nations’ climate change negotiations.