Duterte SONA 2017
Neoliberalism and fascism, formula of an anti-people regime – Anakpawis
Manila, Philippines – On the day of the second State of Nation Address (Sona) of President Rodrigo Duterte, Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao joined about 7,000 farmers and activists led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and its regional chapters from Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon to demand genuine agrarian reform, free distribution of lands to farmers and nationalist industrialization.
“If the president plans to totally embrace neoliberal and fascist rule, after more than a year in power, we are reminding him that he is only copying an old and rotten style of governance that is distinguishable since the post-US colonial regimes, to the Marcos dictatorship and succeeding administrations, this political and economic dogma is an anti-thesis of fundamental reforms such as genuine land reform and nationalist industrialization in the country,” Casilao said in a statement.
The labor-leader lawmaker who hailed from Davao City, will walk toward the plenary wearing alongwith his traditional barong tagalog, a sash with drawings stating “Tunay na Reporma sa Lupa at Pambansang Industriyalisasyon, Ipaglaban!” with a protesting worker and a peasant woman, and “No To Martial Law!” above a drawing a Lumad women leader.
Casilao said that the recent measures and declaration of President Duterte are toward an authoritarian rule, highlighted by his endorsement of the “all-out war” against the New People’s Army (NPA), and majorly targetting farmer, indigenous people communities in Mindanao. It is exacerbated by his martial law in Mindanao declaration and its extension.
Human rights group Karapatan documented 66 farmer-victims of extra-judicial killings as of June 30, and among them were 21 lumad, and from Southern Mindanao 23. Four farmers also fell victims to enforced disappearances.
“Attacks on farmers and other sectors have been executed by past regimes, which at present the president carries out, hence, there is no change on his policy of supposedly protecting the basic rights of the people against state terrorism,” he added.
The lawmaker, who principally authored House Bill No. 555 Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) that espouses free distribution of land to farmers, associated the incessant attacks on farmers as reprisal against their sustained movement to defend their rights to land, to self-determination of indigenous people, and against land and environment plunder by foreign monopoly. Farmers nationwide, under KMP are presently launching their “Buwagin ang mga Hasyenda” campaign, underscored by land occupation and “bungkalan” (cultivation) actions.
“The marginalized sectors are fighting against the interests of foreign monopoly and oligarchs, hence, with the president’s all-out war, we now know, where he stands and that his promises for rural development, even environmental protection are all pretensions,” Casilao said.
He also disapproved of the government’s scuttling of the peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which is supposedly already deliberating about the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER).
“The talks could have been a historical venue in pursuing fundamental reforms in society, on free distribution of land, on decent wages, social services as mass housing, health, education and others, but with the militarists and ‘rightists’ in the cabinet, its accomplishment is now a pipedream,” Casilao said.
Anakpawis said that with the present policies and programs being carried out by President Duterte, it is becoming clearer that change is not coming, worse, farmers, workers and marginalized sectors are already being slaughtered as consequence of their struggle for their rights to land, wage, jobs, homes and democratic rights. ###