FORUM ON THE PHILIPPINES
A forum focusing on the Philippine struggle was well-received by Assembly participants and observers. Renato Reyes, General Secretary of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance) gave an overview of imperialist domination and control in the Philippines. He pointed out that while Pres. Duterte has been sending political overtures towards China and Russia, the Philippines remain as a strategic post in the US-envisioned Indo-Pacific region.
A more in-depth look into the domestic situation of the country was given by Liza Maza, Chair Emerita of the women’s group Gabriela and a former Secretary and Lead Convenor of the government’s National Anti-Poverty Commission. She presented a “3-D” look into the Philippine situation described as “death, destruction and dictatorship”.
This was further analyzed by RafaelMariano, Chairperson of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines), underscoring the prevailing semi-feudal conditions and intensifying exploitation and oppression of the landless farmers consisting the vast majority of the Filipino people.
Joanna Cariño of the national minorities group SANDUGO exposed the oppression suffered with the military attacks on indigenous peoples and the Bangsa Moro to pave way for mining and other corporate exploitation of resources.
Finally, Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, Chair of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) and the Philippines Chapter of the ILPS, presented the development of the legal and progressive mass movements and reaffirmed its resolute struggle under working-class leadership in making history and a brighter future.