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Anti-Duterte protest held ahead of SONA

23 July 2018

Lestari called Duterte 'evil'

By Daisy CL Mandap

About 50 members of various migrant and community organizations staged a protest outside the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong today to denounce President Rodrigo R. Duterte ahead of his third State of the Nation Address in Manila.

Most vocal in their criticism of President Duterte were two foreign nationals who expressed solidarity for Filipinos, including Indonesian Eni Lestari, chair of the International Migrant Alliance, who said the Philippine president is “turning to be an “evil leader.”

“We in the international community believe Duterte should not be supported anymore,” Lestari said, citing among his alleged misdeeds the killing of innocent Filipinos in the name of the drug war, and his blatant disrespect for women.

Ma Wan Ki, a local Chinese who is secretary general of the International Confederation for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, called Duterte a “bully”, saying that for all his tough talk, he has not been able to go after big drug lords in the country.
Ma blasted at the extra-judicial killings
“He has done nothing except for the (shedding of) blood of the innocents,” said Ma.

Pastor Joram Calimutan, who represented the Promotion of Church People’s Response, blasted Duterte’s failure to address the problems of Filipinos, particularly the looming economic crisis brought about by heavy borrowing and rampant corruption.

“Walang ginagawa ang kasalukuyang administrasyon para matigil ang krisis, at sasabihin pa na istupido ang Diyos,” said Calimutan, who also decried other church people who  continue to openly support Duterte despite his anti-religion and anti-god rhetoric.

He also sounded alarm bells over Duterte’s alleged plan to bring in 10,000 construction workers in China as part of his “build, build, build” campaign, even if there are millions of Filipinos who don’t have jobs.
Pastor Calimutan spoke for church people

Speaking for Filipino migrant workers was Dolores Balladares, chair of United Filipinos in Hong Kong, who called out the Philippine leader for failing to deliver on his campaign promise to provide them with a better life.

“Sona (a play on Sona) ngayon ang mga ipinangakong trabaho?”, said Balladares. “Tayong mga migrante ang patunay na ang mga ipinangakong pagbabago ay hindi nangyari.”

She cited as an example the so-called iDOLE or OFW ID, which was recently scrapped by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III amid allegations of misuse of the congressional funding for the project.

She also harped at Duterte’s failure to have a real consultation with Filipino migrants during his Hong Kong visit in April, preferring instead to party with local Chinese business people who own employment agencies, often seen as a bane to OFWs.

A bigger protest is set to be held this coming Sunday, Jul 29, to assess Duterte’s SONA and what it means to Filipinos, particularly migrant workers.

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