Since our founding on December 9th, 2017, ICHRP-US has tirelessly campaigned to build solidarity support for the Filipino people’s aspirations for just and lasting peace. While the civil war in the country rages on between the National Democratic Front and the Government of the Philippines, political repression of activists has worsened and the struggle with poverty has intensified.
Over the past five years, people all over the U.S. — from Hawaii, Portland, Seattle, Northern & Southern California, Chicago & the midwest, Washington DC, Baltimore, New Jersey and New York, Pennsylvania have joined together to form an active solidarity movement in support of people’s collective rights in the Philippines. We have conducted hundreds of lobby visits, mobilized in the streets across the world, sent solidarity delegations to the Philippines and hosted speaking tours of Filipino unionists, church leaders and bishops, human rights defenders, indigenous and environmental activists. ICHRP-US has successfully mobilized solidarity support through campaigns to support of the Lumad people, to cut US military support to the Philippines, to defend the rights of peace activists and to oppose the unlawful and illegitimate red-tagging and harassment of activists. ICHRP-US has further raised awareness of the real situation on the ground in the country through participation in ICHRP Global projects such as the 2018 International People’s Tribunal, Investigate PH and the 2022 International Observers Mission. Below is a series of photos depicting major highlights of work since our first General Assembly in December 2017.
The Current Situation
Today, the Filipino people face an unparalleled economic crisis at the hands of the Marcos Jr. regime. The value of the Philippine peso is at an all time low, public debt has hit record highs, workers are struggling with low wages that are merely half the amount needed for an average size family, and increasing inflation continues to impact the poorest and most vulnerable people. Farmers in the countryside are facing increasing rates of poverty and lack of access to land, while super typhoons and other disasters continue to ravage communities already facing severe government neglect.
Human rights violations have only continued since Marcos Jr. took office, as he intends to uphold Duterte’s fascist policies such as the Anti-Terror Law and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to sow more fear and attacks against critics of the government. Poor peasants, indigenous leaders, journalists, trade unionists and human rights defenders continue to face politically motivated attacks in the form of illegal arrest, cruel torture and detention, and even killings. Since Marcos Jr. took office there have been 29 attacks against workers, aerial bombings waged by the AFP in Bukidnon, and an entire community on Negros Island placed under military lockdown without access to food and diapers for their children. The AFP continues to commit international war crimes, with the recent murder of NDF Peace Consultant Ericson Acosta after he was captured while consulting on the situation of farm workers in Southern Negros.
Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris recently returned from a visit to the Philippines where she met with President Marcos Jr. and other government officials to reaffirm the partnership between the US and the Philippines. The outcomes of their meetings include further economic investments in the Philippines and reaffirmation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement to pave the way for future deployment of more US military troops to the Philippines. We must expose and resist the US pursuit of hegemony and dominance in the Asia Pacific region at the expense of workers, farmers, indigenous peoples and all exploited and oppressed people in the Philippines. Let us continue to mobilize people in the US to unite in solidarity with the Filipino people in advancing the struggle for people’s rights and rejecting US support of the Marcos Dynasty!
Call to Action
Despite the widespread protests and reports on the severe human rights crisis in the country, the Biden administration’s policy towards the Philippines continues to prioritize US economic and military pursuits over human rights.
We are outraged at President Biden’s pursuit of US hegemony and dominance in the Asia Pacific region at the expense of workers, farmers, indigenous, and all exploited and oppressed people in the Philippines. We are further dismayed at Biden’s ongoing military funding of the Philippine government while people in the US continue to suffer from the ongoing impacts of the Covid pandemic and face insufficient wages, food and housing insecurity, mental health crisis, police brutality, lack of access to health care, and increasing inequality between rich and poor. We are therefore resolute in our solidarity with the people of the Philippines.
We issue the following demands to the Biden Administration
- Hold the Marcos regime accountable for the repression of labor activists and defend the right to unionize
- Give due justice to the victims of Martial Law and uphold the contempt of court case against Marcos, revoking his immunity as the head of state of the Philippines
- Halt US aid to the Philippine military and police by passing the Philippine Human Rights Act, and to halt all future arms sales to the Philippines
- Hold the Duterte Regime responsible for it’s egregious crimes against humanity and ensure justice and accountability for the victims of state terrorism
- Halt US corporate operations impacting climate change and resulting in the eradication of biodiverse ecosystems and the violation, harassment, and displacement of Indigenous peoples
- Delist the CPP-NPA from the US terror list in support of the peace process in the Philippines
While we will continue to make demands of the US government it is ultimately the people who are the decisive force in creating genuine change in society. As we move forward after 5 years of experience of organizing, we must be persistent and unrelenting in our solidarity. We call upon people in the United States to continue mobilizing the broadest solidarity support to advance the struggle for peoples’ rights in the Philippines and to reject US Support of the Marcos Dynasty!