On July 26, 2021, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his final State of the Nation Address (SONA), dubbed by Filipino activists, migrants, local and international human rights advocates as yet another speech riddled with lies and deceits.
Groups have criticized Duterte’s subservient foreign policies in favor of China as he has time and again welcomed Chinese military aggressions in the West Philippine Sea. On the other hand, his reliance on US military aid and lopsided treaties have continued to gained condemnation even in the international community for utilizing these to intensify counter-insurgency programs and bloody wars against the Filipino people. The investigation of the International Criminal Court has found evidence against Duterte for mass murdering 12,000 to 30,000 Filipinos from 2016 to 2019.
Filipinos have garnered strong international solidarity from different countries in their call to “End Duterte’s Tyranny”. ILPS Philippines said in a statement that “The president has also overturned the Philippines’ victory in the Permanent Court of Arbitration against China in 2016 which acknowledged the West Philippine Sea as Philippine territory under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Duterte allowed China to build artificial islands in the seas within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and extended continental shelf, and ignored the presence of Chinese military ships stationed in various sections of the West Philippine Sea (WPS).”
Migrants in Asia Pacific also conducted their Online Solidarity Rally to End Duterte’s Tyranny
Filipino migrants in South Korea also released their solidarity video message, highlighting Duterte’s legacy of worsening unemployment, contractualization, and labor export policy which forces majority of Filipinos to seek jobs abroad.
In their statement, Australian Action for Peace and Development in the Philippines (APDP) said that Duterte has launched a war on dissent and fundamental human rights. They also said that hundreds of peasants, workers, Indigenous leaders, lawyers, human rights activists and community organizers have been killed, and power 700 languish in jails as political prisoners. https://www.facebook.com/ILPSOfficial/photos/a.108011910752829/375287594025258/
In Mckenzee Park, Montreal, supporters gathered for a People’s State of the Nation (SONA) protest in solidarity with the Filipino people’s call to end Duterte’s regime of impunity, killings, red-tagging, corruption, sovereignty issues and other forms of injustices.
In Washington DC, over 100 Filipino activists, community organizers and solidarity allies from throughout the DMV region mobilized to the DC-MD-VA People’s State of the Nation Address at the Philippine Embassy on Saturday July 24th to expose the true conditions and advance demands of the Filipino people in the “five long violent years” under President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime, and as a counter-protest to Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) given on July 26.
“For the past five years, Duterte has been using the SONA as the vehicle for his lies and for his propaganda. From the pedestal afforded to him by the Constitution and by the Filipino people, Duterte has openly engaged in acts of deception, painting himself and his administration as saviors of the nation”, the coalition said.
The event started with a short program at Lafayette Square where Baltimore Filipinx DJ, Toyomansi, engaged the crowd with agitational hip-hop and where multiple solidarity organizations spoke about the importance of internationalism in the struggle for National Liberation.
In Portland, ILPS member organizations such as Migrante, Gabriela, Anakbayan, led a cultural solidarity protest ‘WakasanFest: The People’s Carnival’ at Hillsdale UCC to celebrate the years of Filipino people’s resistance and stand with the Filipino people to end Duterte regime.
In San Francisco, CA, international and migrant organizations protested in front of the Philippine Consulate to show solidarity with the Filipino people’s call to end Duterte’s tyranny.
“The reign of the despotic US-Duterte regime is evidence of the rotten semi-colonial and semi-feudal system of the country. The toiling masses must struggle for their democratic and civil liberties and their demands for wages, financial aid, affordable basic commodities, quality and accessible healthcare, education, and other basic social services. The struggle to depose Duterte is part of advancing the national-democratic revolution against imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism, which are the causes of the oppression and exploitation of Filipinos”, ILPS Philippines ended in their statement. ###