BS Aquino lies on APEC’s benefits on Filipinos

The BS Aquino government is all set for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit Economic Leaders Meeting on November 18-19. 

APEC 2015 


Overkill security measures for the heads of States attending the meeting have been laid out.  Advisories on work stoppage, road closures, traffic rerouting, truck bans, and no-fly and no-sail zones have been circulated. Threats of the police on the “no-permit-no-rally” rule have been repeatedly stated. Two layers of container vans and hundreds of policemen meant to block and hide the Lumad in Baclaran Redemptorist Church have been placed. The homeless people living on the streets of Manila were carted away to resorts and other facilities—hidden like prisoners from the view of State functionaries.

These measures are part of the BS Aquino regime’s attempt to present a prettified reality of the actual state of affairs in the Philippines. The measures, preparation, and spending also show who BS Aquino’s real bosses are, that calls into question the “inclusive growth”, “better world” themes hyped by the APEC Summit. 

This is the 2nd time the Philippine government is hosting the APEC Summit. The first was in 1996, but this is the nth time we register our rejection and protest against APEC’s goals, practices and the policies it promotes, despite the B. S. Aquino government's preposterous welcome.  A zealous puppet of the U.S., it is no wonder the regime gives its unbridled support to imperialist globalization policies, which for the past two decades have had adverse consequences on the Filipino people.

Economic platforms such as APEC and the neoliberal policies it promotes consolidates the export dependent and import-oriented economy that has brought the Filipino people in deep poverty and has kept the country underdeveloped for centuries.  Increasing unemployment and labor flexibilization, immense land and resource grabs that drive away peasants and indigenous peoples from their lands, further deprivation of basic social services due to privatization, destruction of local manufactures and agriculture—these are a few of the impacts on the majority of poor Filipinos.

In coordination with the International Monetary Fund-World Bank and the World Trade Organization, APEC was created by the US and other imperialist countries and their puppet regimes to promote neoliberal policies in the Asia-Pacific region. In the mad scramble for plunder of resources and lands, APEC complements the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, such as the recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).  The TPP was secretly crafted and negotiated among countries in the Pacific rim, in the sidelines of APEC meetings. Among others, it is expected to give unbridled powers to multi/transnational corporations to sue States, which are deemed hindrance in the superprofit-making schemes. 

As the world focuses its attention on this “important” high-level forum of 21 heads of States led by the big capitalist global power, the impact of APEC and similar platforms on the lives, livelihood and rights of the least developed countries and the marginalized citizens of the world, as well as the broad peoples’ struggles should be brought to the fore.

While poverty worsens and the inequality gaps widen, the US through its Asian Pivot, is not only aggressively pushing for its economic agenda in the Philippines and in the Asia Pacific region but also pursuing non-economic schemes in the region through APEC. 

The “Asian pivot” plays part in the US economic offensives, specifically in “rebalancing” US military forces and bases to ensure not only political hegemony but also its market and resource supplies. Despite the deep crisis plaguing the US economy, its military spending continues to increase. The US leads in military spending with its $613 billion budget to finance its allies and neo-colonies in their wars of aggression and occupation, targeting peoples’ movements and democratic struggles.

Economic downturn fuels State militarism; and as a consequence, human rights violations among peoples intensify. 

In the Philippines, the kowtowing of President Aquino’s government has paid off. For 2014, the US State Department requested its Congress a U$187.5 million in US aid for the Philippines—consisting of U$118.7 million in economic and $68.8 million in military aid. The military aid is meant to boost the US-patterned anti-insurgency Oplan Bayanihan (OpBay). The OpBay hopes to quash the more-than-four-decade national democratic revolution being waged by the Filipino people; and protect U.S. and transnational economic interests in the Philippines.

As of September 2015, OpBay has so far resulted in 294 extrajudicial killings, 215 are peasants and 75 are indigenous people who are protesting the transgression of transnational mining corporations and plantations on their ancestral domain. There are 27 victims of enforced disappearances, 911 victims of illegal arrests and detention, and 555 political prisoners languishing in jails for trumped-up criminal cases. Meanwhile, displacements were recorded at almost 64,000 individuals.

Despite the onslaught of imperialist plunder and war of terror, the oppressed peoples in the Philippines and across the world are persevering in our struggle for peoples' rights. United, we will never be defeated.