For Immediate Release
June 7, 2012
Reference: Jackelyn Mariano, Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN-USA, email@example.com, 347.669.0661
“THE PHILIPPINES IS NOT FOR SALE!”— BAYAN USA Filipino Americans Decry Aquino and Binay U.S. Visits as Business Deals to Further Trample on Philippine Sovereignty, Increase US Military Presence in Country
BAYAN-USA, a national alliance of progressive Filipino organizations, commenced the month of June by mobilizing the Filipino community to voice their outrage and concern to the Philippine President Benigno “NoyNoy” Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay on their respective visits to the United States. BAYAN-USA condemns the Aquino administration for pushing policies that have prioritized opening up the Philippine economy to mainly cater to foreign economic and U.S. military interests, as well as the interests of the ruling classes in the Philippines at the expense of the rights and dignity of the majority of poor Filipinos. Binay visited Los Angeles this past June 2nd, while Aquino is slated to meet with US President Obama this Friday, June 8.
Binay declared his visit to the U.S. was to meet with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to ask for help in defending the rights of trafficked Filipino teachers in Maryland. However, protesters from BAYAN-USA doubt Binay’s interest in workers’ rights due to the very fact that he was staying at the Hilton LA Airport, a boycotted hotel by a hotel workers union, which includes Filipino members. The union called for a boycott to ensure that the workers’ rights to unionize be upheld as well as the fair treatment of workers across the board.
President Aquino, on the other hand, will be meeting Obama at the White House to discuss increasing U.S. military presence in the Philippines. Aquino may discuss the Philippines signing onto Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), a U.S.-led neoliberal free-trade agreement - often referred to as the NAFTA of Asia - which will further liberalize Philippine markets to deregulate foreign business ownership, clearly violating Philippine sovereignty and self-determination. Many economists have pointed to the TPPA’s design to secure US economic dominance in the Asia-Pacific region, while isolating super rival China’s emerging economic influence.
With every US military shift dictated by a US economic agenda, BAYAN-USA recognizes these meetings as Aquino’s subservience to U.S. economic and military interests, as he allows the increase of U.S. military presence in the Philippines in exchange for the tripling of U.S. military aid to the Philippines. His visit is in line with the Pentagon’s recent announcement of a 60% strategic shift to the Asia Pacific region set to be completed by 2020. As the Obama administration uses military bullying to dictate and project its economic power in the Asia-Pacific region, it continues to justify its actions by sowing an anti-China scare campaign reminiscent of Cold War-era messaging. Filipinos in the U.S. and in the Philippines declare, “The Philippines is NOT for sale!” and will conduct protest actions in both countries to condemn the U.S.-Philippine military alliance, which will only perpetuate more human rights violations against the Filipino people and aggravate the threat of war, putting the Philippine nation in direct danger of unwarranted military action.
Join BAYAN-USA in nationally-coordinated protest actions to demand that President Aquino uphold Philippine sovereignty and protect the rights and welfare of the Filipino people!
Friday, June 8, 2:00PM EST
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Sidewalks between East & West Executive Avenues Washington, D.C.
Contact: Jackelyn Mariano, Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN-USA, 347.669.0661
Friday, June 8, 5:30PM PST
Hilton LAX Los Angeles, California
Contact: Theresa Jaranilla, Southwest Coordinator, BAYAN-USA, 213.373.5154
Sat, June 9 & Sun, June 10,
12pm-5pm PST Seattle Center, Pagdiriwang Festival commemorating Philippine Independence Seattle, Washington
Contact: Chel Cendana, Pacific Northwest Coordinator, BAYAN-USA, 360.990.9424
UPHOLD PHILIPPINE SOVEREIGNTY! THE PHILIPPINES IS NOT FOR SALE!
U.S. TROOPS OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES!
U.S. TROOPS OUT OF THE ASIA PACIFIC!
NO TO THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT!
DOWN WITH U.S. IMPERIALISM! ###