DAVAO CITY — Various farmers and workers groups have accused the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit of “hypocrisy” in calling for an inclusive economy while excluding groups who are supposed to benefit from such an economy.
“The APEC Summit is inclusive only for big corporations. Labor unions, farmers groups, representatives of poor and marginalized sectors who want to air their issues and concerns to APEC are not even allowed to walk along Roxas Boulevard,” said Bong Labog, chairperson of the Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center (May First Labor Center or KMU).
“APEC’s so-called inclusivity is the biggest global political deception in the 21st century,” said Rafael Mariano, chairperson of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines or KMP).
“This is exemplified in the absence of genuine social justice measures like land reform and agricultural development in the agenda. Worse, farmers’ voices and opposition to APEC-induced land grabbing and plunder are being silenced by governments’ curtailment of peasant rights to protest,” he said.
Mariano said APEC’s agenda “is the full-blown liberalization of economies for the increased dumping of agricultural surpluses and the intensification of plunder of our land, water, forests, and mineral resources by developed countries and for the benefit of big landlords and foreign agribusinesses.”
Meanwhile, Labog said “APEC’s thrust is to attack workers’ rights, that’s why it refuses to involve labor formations that genuinely represent workers.”
“Even workers’ freedom of expression is being curtailed when we exercise it during the meetings,” he said.
Both KMP and KMU are joining protests against APEC this week. (davaotoday.com)