November 10, 2017
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Jigs Clamor, Deputy Secretary General, +63 999 772 1233
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-979058
Fascists and hypocrites converge in the ASEAN 2017 summit – Karapatan
“US President Donald Trump is slated to arrive in the Philippines on November 12, 2017, to be welcomed by the Philippine government with tapestries and events amounting to Php 15.5B, when the only welcome befitting of his visit is protest and condemnation. Once again, the world is set to witness an illusion of luxury and affluence, where heads of States dine and talk about plundering more resources from poor countries, pressing down already-low wages, promoting globalization and economic integration at the expense of local economies, and bombing countries for the ushering of ‘democracy’ – all while Filipinos continue to be mired with poverty as a direct result of US neoliberal policies. The stench of hypocrisy is revolting,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on Trump’s visit in the country for the 2017 ASEAN Summit.
With the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”, ASEAN 2017 brings together the leaders of different countries to discuss regional and international issues. The 10-member regional bloc will be joined by so-called partner allies, including the United States, Canada, and Australia. Formed in 1967 – 50 years ago – the ASEAN is a regional formation on economic partnership and coordination between and among countries in Southeast Asia.
“However, the ASEAN has long been rendered subservient to unequal economic and political agreements shoved down these countries’ throats by imperialist nations. There is no partnership here, only the connivance of powerful countries to sell, undermine, and plunder the rest of the world – with the permission of our own fascist leaders who have benefitted from this wretched system,” added Palabay.
Karapatan’s secretary general also highlighted the role of the US government in funding human rights violations that it “hypocritically denies and condemns whenever convenient.” She further added that “The Duterte-Trump meeting is sure to be a spectacle, a meeting of liars and fascists who are hastening the human rights winter in the world.”
Palabay cited that according to the US Congress, the US government gave the Philippines $9 million for Duterte’s bloody war on drugs and $47.5 million as military aid this 2017. Next year, the US is allocating $111 million as military assistance to the country, primarily for the implementation of counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan, while $7 million will be given to the anti-illegal drug campaign . “The US engages in doubletalk when it throws criticisms on the Duterte’s human rights record, when all this time it has been funding Duterte’s drug war and the Philippine military’s all-out-war in the country, resulting in the killings of the urban and rural poor, farmers, indigenous peoples, and human rights defenders, including those who have struggled against US militarism and plunder of the country,” she said.
“The ASEAN, and all the superficial glamor that comes with it, is a tasteless attempt to feign progress and development in a region that is already drained off of its labor, resources, rights, and dignity. US imperialism is tantamount to war, human rights violations, unfair economic policies, and the preservation of a world order that favors a wealthy few. We enjoin everyone to join the upcoming protests against Trump’s visit in the country. Let us amplify the people’s clamor to defeat US imperialism and uphold Philippine sovereignty and people’s rights,” Palabay concluded.
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
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Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.