Protests await Philippines president in Australia

May. 27, 2007

MANILA — The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan, New Patriotic Alliance) today announced that protest actions have scheduled in Australia to coincide with the official visit of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The announcement comes right after Filipinos and Japanese held protest actions during Arroyos latest Japan trip.

The protests will focus on human rights and military aid to the Philippines according to Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

Australia considers the Philippines an important partner in the so-called war on terror. That is why defense cooperation between the two countries has been eagerly pursued. But this type of cooperation should be opposed in light of the Philippines gross human rights record, Reyes said.

Any form of military aid to the Philippine tyrant contributes to the aggravation of the human rights situation here. We cannot separate the issue of military cooperation with the problems of human rights violations being committed in the name of the so-called war on terror, Reyes added.

Recently, Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno assailed the war on terror as mindless and believes it as the reason for the escalation of human rights violations in the Philippines.

Bayan said that the issue of political killings will hound Arroyo anywhere she goes.

The protest action in Melbourne will be held on May 31 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 123 Collins Street, Melbourne and will be organized by Migrante Melbourne, the Philippine-Australia Solidarity Association and the Australia-Asia Workers Links. A flyer for the activity is available at Bayans website .

Reyes said that Bayan also opposes the proposed Status of Forces Agreement being hammered out by the two governments.

As if United States military meddling is not enough, the Philippines now wants Australia to use our country as its military playground. The proposed agreement is unacceptable and violates our sovereignty. We should not allow our country to be used as a staging ground for the discredited war on terror, Reyes said.

Bayan believes that Australia aspires to be a junior partner of the US in the war on terror in the region. Prime Minister Howard himself is the a staunch supporter of this globally discredited war. Arroyo meanwhile is a cheerleader for US interventionist policies. Thats one thing the two leaders have in common. Their meeting will surely focus on advancing the terror war in the region, Reyes said.

We call on our newly elected senators to reject the SOFA once it reaches the Senate for ratification. It is their patriotic duty to uphold national sovereignty against military intervention masquerading as cooperation, Reyes added.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to The opinion expessed in these items does not reflect those of Davao Today and its staff. Please refer to our terms of use/disclaimer.

comments powered by Disqus