June 30, 2016

Reference: Daniel Dunn, Member of Anakbayan New York

         JM Lopez, Chairperson of Anakbayan New York


Duterte inauguration title pic

Anakbayan New York acknowledges Rodrigo R. Duterte for his inauguration as the new President of the Philippines and challenges him to take up the People’s Agenda for Change.

Duterte’s administration will be governing over the people of the Philippines who are and have been suffering from extreme poverty, landlessness, joblessness and many other problems. However, prior to inauguration, Duterte has promised to push for pro-people policies that addresses a range of issues; from putting an end to labor contractualization that has caused the exploitation of many workers to stopping large-scale mining that has either had a harmful effect on the environment or caused the displacement of many Filipinos– such as the Lumad– from their homes. Duterte has also stated that he would resume peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the government of the Republic of the Philippines that will address the causes of the armed conflict which are the very same issues that plague the Filipino people: poverty, landlessness, and joblessness.

On June 29, the National People’s Summit occurred where many sectors of the Filipino people provided a comprehensive set of proposals and programs including a more detailed 100 day plan called the “People’s Agenda for Change” for the Duterte administration to address their issues. These proposals included foreign policies that push for national sovereignty of the Philippines from U.S. hegemony such as terminating U.S. military operations under the Enhanced Defense and Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that led to many unfortunate cases such as the murder of Jennifer Laude. The proposals also have progressive social policies for access to basic services such as free education which many of the Filipino youth have been denied access to throughout their lifetime due to unaffordable tuition rates. Uniting with the masses of the Philippines, Anakbayan New York challenges Duterte to uphold his pro-people policy pronouncements but more importantly, the People’s Agenda throughout the intensive 100 day plan as well as his whole term.

However while we hold Duterte accountable to his promises, we must also understand that we cannot rely on the electoral process to bring about genuine social change in the Philippines. We stand with the people when we challenge Duterte on fulfilling his promises that will benefit the toiling masses of Filipino people and stress the importance of linking the issues of the youth with the issues that are facing the people. When we think about the electoral process, we should review the history of the Philippines and see how it has worked in the past such as in the case of former President Benigno Aquino III who has failed the Philippines over and over again.  More importantly in examining history, we must remember that it was the people of the Philippines who had courageously resisted and defended the Philippines from Spanish colonialism, Japanese occupation, and ousted the Marcos regime to put an end to Martial Law.

To continue this legacy of the people, we call on all Filipinos especially the youth to not only fight for a pro-people education but to also unite with the masses of the Filipino people in their continuing struggle for genuine democracy and liberation.

Fight for a Pro-People Education!

Uphold the People’s Agenda for Change!

Struggle for National Democracy towards Socialism!!!