On JULY 26th, tens of thousands of Filipinos mobilized for the People’s State of the Nation Address (PSONA) in Manila to protest the impunity and state fascism of Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody presidency, as he addressed the nation in his final term. In his speech, Duterte said: “Shoot them dead and I will be happy.” A few hours before SONA, two unarmed artists, Jermar Palero (22) and Marion Naperia (38) were shot under a bridge by Philippine National Police in Guinobatan for spray painting a wall.
Across the United States, almost 1,500 protestors launched echo actions across 13 cities to express overseas Filipinos’ outrage and officially launch the Duterte Wakasan Na Movement US, determined to end the Duterte Regime by any means possible.
President Rodrigo Duterte has come under fire in the Philippines and internationally for rampant extra-judicial killings, corruption, anti-people socio economic policies, and his betrayal of national sovereignty to China and the US.
Rhonda Ramiro, Chairperson of BAYAN USA, stated: “Ever since the beginning of his presidency, Duterte has been trying to sell out Philippine sovereignty to the highest bidder, flip-flopping between the U.S. and China and bending over for transnational corporations. He allows China to run roughshod over Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea; pushes for Charter Change to grant big foreign corporations further ownership rights to resources that should benefit our country; and has maintained the U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement. We must defend Philippine independence and sovereignty by ending the reign of Duterte now!”
Many Filipino individuals and organizations have publicly criticized Duterte for his failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This past April 2021, over 500 personalities signed the “Save The Nation! Duterte Resign!” statement within 48 hours of its release and 69,000 others signed the petition on change.org, reflecting the Filipino people’s desire to end the Duterte regime.
Coinciding with PSONA protests, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) USA and Malaya Movement launched the Duterte Wakasan Na Movement in the US, a unified opposition against Duterte for sheer neglect of overseas Filipino workers and failure to respond to the global COVID pandemic.
“Amidst the suffering of our kababayan, the Duterte regime shamelessly maximized the pandemic to line the pockets of government officials,” stated Nap Pempeña, Secretary General of Migrante USA.
“Bayanihan 2, or the government pandemic response program, ended on June 30 and yet P18 billion remained ‘unspent’. Moreover, migrants abroad languish at the lack of much needed consular services and the lack of budget transparency. The deadly corruption of Duterte and his brood must be exposed and must be brought to justice.”
The passage of the Anti-Terror Law last year was a clear move by the Duterte regime to further criminalize dissent and to legalize the dangerous and baseless terror tagging of anyone who is critical of the regime. In the span of a month, peasant leaders and human rights activists, Randy Echanis and Zara Alvarez, were murdered and there have been a relentless slew of arrests and extrajudicial killings every month since. Even mass organizations in the United States like BAYAN USA, Anakbayan-USA, and GABRIELA USA have come under attack by the National Taskforce to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF- ELCAC) and Die-Hard Duterte Supporters (DDS). Activists and progressive organizations have called for the abolishment of the NTF-ELCAC to bring an end to the vicious attacks on the Filipino people and on democracy.
Tabitha Ponciano from Malaya Movement National Secretariat stated, “The Duterte regime must be held accountable for its fascist violence against the Filipino people and we must be steadfast in our call to pass the Philippine Human Rights Act. We cannot allow our US tax dollars and any other forms of military aid from the US to continue to go towards the killing and silencing of our kababayan.”
With less than a year until Duterte’s final day in office, he has shown that he will do anything to stay in power, including running for vice president or having his own daughter, Sara Duterte, run for office. It is clear that the Filipino people will not stand for another year or term of Rodrigo Duterte.