Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Pinoys had nothing to gain from ASEAN
By Ding Cervantes

Nov 14, 2017

CLARK FREEPORT - Filipinos had nothing to gain from the ASEAN Summit and the visit of US Pres. Donald Trump, militants said yesterday.

“The Filipino people have nothing to gain and everything to lose in this gathering of global economies and world superpowers. As expected, US, China, Japan and Russia will only display their economic and political rivalry,” the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said in a statement.

It said “the three-way contest between US-China-Russia will only worsen the militarism and fascism in the Southeast Asia.”

“Duterte, on the other hand, will do everything to please his foreign masters. He would sing and dance and wag his tongue if ordered to by Trump,” said Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP.

Ramos noted that “Important people’s issues like access to land and natural resources, employment, food security, delivery of social services, education, healthcare, protection of the environment and human rights, among others, are not in the agenda of the ASEAN Summits.”

“World leaders are turning a blind eye on the reality of Rohingya refugees in Myanmar and the Philippines’ anti-drug war that killed thousands,” he said.

KMP secretary general Antonio Flores said, “we will resist US and ASEAN’s further imposition on our local economy, agriculture, trade and politics.We refuse to be dragged into a web of war among superpowers. US’s constant threatening of NoKor and China’s unabashed trampling of our territorial integrity will cause further political tension in the region.”

“After all the ASEAN festivities, events and the PH government’s extravagant hosting, what will be left of us is more of the same – hunger, poverty, unemployment and worst human rights situation,” Flores said.

Farmers and peasant leaders from Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia under the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) are now in Manila to show solidarity with Filipino farmers who are opposing and protesting Trump’s visit in Asia and in the Philippines.

The foreign peasant leaders are attending parallel actions against ASEAN and East Asia Summit (EAS), Ramos said. In a statement, the APC said “the EAS will be a staging ground for the economic and political rivalry of superpowers US, China, and Russia at the expense of South East Asian farmers and stakeholders in agriculture.”

“The trade and political wars of US, China and Russia will overshadow the situation and struggles of South East Asian peasants demanding for land and liberation from land grabbing and monopolization of transnational corporations in the region’s agriculture.”

It said “we refuse to become mere spectators as imperialist powers decide on signifi cant economic aspects including energy, education, finance, global health, environment and disaster management.”

“We will assert democracy, sovereignty, social justice and peace in our countries and across Asia. We want a world free from imperialist domination and exploitation,” said Sandy Oh, leader of the Alyansi Gerakan Reforma Agricultura (AGRA) of Indonesia.

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