With warm militant greetings, Migrante International sends its best wishes to all chapters and member organizations of Migrante Europe as it holds its 2nd Congress this 8th of December 2019 with the theme, “Expand and strengthen our unity! Promote and defend the rights and welfare of Filipinos and their families in Europe and abroad! Contribute and participate in the struggle for national freedom and democracy!”
This day marks an important milestone in our history since it also coincides with the exact date when Migrante Philippines and Migrante Youth were founded two years ago as a result of persistent organizing among repatriates, OFW families and would-be migrants. Our work of reaching out to more Filipino migrant workers and their families is more significant than ever in light of the mounting waves of peoples’ resistance we now see in many parts of the world.
Before us lies an enormous mission of contributing to the national democratic struggle in the Philippines by bolstering the numbers of organized youth, women and unionized workers. There is also a pressing need to encourage more Filipino compatriots to dedicate an extensive period of time for mass work and integration in the homefront.
With blatant corruption and neoliberal wreckage in the Philippines, Duterte’s bluster can never conceal the exacerbating blight that afflicts swelling numbers of Filipinos. According to the latest SWS survey, an estimated 10 million Filipinos found themselves jobless in the third quarter of 2019. Unemployment rate accelerated at 21.5 percent. This does not even take into account those workers who are paid starvation wages and continually stricken by contractualization.
Meanwhile, farmers in the countryside bewail Duterte’s rice liberalization law that opened the floodgates of the country to unrestrained rice importations. It is quite clear that the Duterte regime has no intention of addressing the roots of forced migration through national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform. As a result, more and more Filipinos are driven to the far ends of the Earth in their longing to survive and bring food to the table for their loved ones.
In their moments of distress, they are only met with government negligence as in the case of Abu Dhabi based OFW Mary Jean Alberto whose bereaved family is still deprived of justice. The Philippine government has proven time and again that it only looks at OFWs as milking cows through various state exactions and their remittances to salvage a depressed domestic economy.
As the crisis in the Philippines escalates, the US-Duterte regime is unleashing the most hideous features of its despotic rule. Recently, combined forces of AFP and PNP stormed the offices of progressive mass organizations in Bacolod, illegally arresting 57 activists and rights workers. Conjugated with a de-facto Martial Law through Executive Order 70 which warrants a Whole-of-Nation-Approach, the US-Duterte regime has no other aim but to quell dissent and persecute progressive voices that have been resolute in raising the legitimate demands and grievances of the long-oppressed Filipino people.
In the face of the Duterte regime’s ruthless acts of terror, we will neither shrink nor cower. We confronted the regime’s attack dogs and asserted our rights thereby leading to the release of almost all of those who were illegally arrested in Bacolod. This tells us that only by being steadfast in our actions and principles can we truly fight for the rights and welfare of those victimized by a rotten and unjust system that ceaselessly drags our country to perdition.
Duterte’s latest termination or removal of Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs just two weeks after her appointment only goes to show that the regime has everything to hide just to protect big time drug criminals like Michael Yang, Allan Lim, Peter Lim, Peter Co and Kerwin Espinosa whom the regime has attempted to absolve numerous times.
Verily, the fake war on drugs is nothing but a brutal war being waged against the poor and with the apparent intention of annihilating Duterte’s rivals in the drug trade. We will not mince words to reiterate that Duterte is the supreme drug lord and chief benefactor of big time drug criminals in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Duterte’s approbation of US imperialist hegemony in our national affairs and China’s incursion into our territorial waters paves the way for more plunder of our resources and violation of our sovereign rights. The regime is out here salivating after more loans to finance its tyrannical ambitions.
The people’s mass actions in Chile, Bolivia, Colombia and elsewhere bid us to register our strong support in their battle against Fascism and neoliberalism. Your presence as Filipino compatriots in countries far and wide is essential in bannering international solidarity for all the rest of the oppressed peoples of the world who valiantly wage the struggle against imperialism. It is also a head start in exposing the crimes of the US-Duterte regime through extensive international lobbying work in your respective host countries.
In all our militant pursuits, it is therefore imperative that we commit ourselves to cultivating a deeper understanding of what these are all about and that is no other than to SERVE THE PEOPLE! Rouse then and gird your armour on! Let us press forward in one accord with all the toiling Filipino masses as we clear the path for a future where no family will ever be torn apart for the need to survive. Boldly advance the struggle of Filipino migrants for national democracy and social justice.
End forced migration!
Stop labour export!
Oust the US-Duterte regime!
Long live Migrante Europe!
Long live Migrante International!
Long live the Filipino people!
Chairperson, Migrante International