Ban Trump in PH, Left cries in Manila rallies
Militant groups on Friday took to the streets in Manila ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to the country next week to urge President Duterte to resist increasing US influence in the country.
The protest was part of #BanTrumpPH, a campaign organized by leftist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, which was called to ban Trump from the country for his aggressive military and immigration policies.
Trump was set to arrive in Manila on Nov. 14 for the East Asia Summit, where he is expected to discuss the worsening nuclear crisis in the Korean peninsula, among other things.
Armed with placards and streamers that read, “Dump Trump,” and “No Trump, No War,” the protesters warned that Trump’s visit would only drag the Philippines into the US conflict with North Korea.
They called on Mr. Duterte to junk the “harmful” policies that benefited only the United States, such as the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.
“It’s no secret that the United States wants to increase military presence and number of troops in the country,” said former Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino.
“What’s dangerous is that, contrary to Mr. Duterte’s earlier claims for a more independent foreign policy, he actually welcomes American intervention as seen during [the Marawi siege],” he said.
Casino said Mr. Duterte and Trump “shared a common fascist leadership,” in that both were intolerant of criticism and often undermined democratic institutions.
“We see this in the way [Mr. Duterte] conducted the drug war and his counterinsurgency campaign, in that he uses state violence against perceived enemies of the state, whether criminals or political foes,” he said.
The protesters, who began their march from Kalaw Avenue, clashed briefly with police on their way to the US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard. They were forced to detour to UN Avenue.
At least 850 policemen were deployed to disperse the protesters, according to Manila police spokesperson Chief Insp. Elmer Margarejo.
Effect on Pinoys in US
The protesters also condemned Trump’s immigration policy, which could affect overseas Filipino workers in the United States.
“The United States itself is revolted by Trump because he is sexist and racist. What else can we expect from a crude president and his government but even more crude policies that would only further oppress our people?” said Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas.
Civil society organizations in Southeast Asia are calling on the 10-nation bloc to scrap its noninterference principle given the mounting cases of human rights violations across the region.
According to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Civil Society Conference (ASCS), there was a growing need to set aside the noninterference principle enshrined in the bloc’s charter, especially since the region has increasingly become an “unsafe place for human rights activists and defenders, journalists and people who have progressive and modernizing ideas.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.