US LAYAS: Ilonggas OK Duterte’s independent foreign policy

ILOILO CITY“Kaya ng Pinas, US Layas!”

US TROOPS OUT NOW! (c) Gabriela Panay and Guimaras

In observance of October 28, the National Filipino Women’s Day of Protest, militant llonggas held black cardboards with white slogans supporting President Rodrigo Duterte’s independent foreign policy Friday afternoon.

Led by Gabriela Panay and Guimaras, women leaders welcomed President Duterte’s proclamation of cutting military and economic ties with the US.

“This is the first time in Philippine history that a president declares an independent foreign policy to end US domination over our country. This will pave the way for our country’s development on our own terms and will be beneficial for the women and the rest of the Filipinos,” Gabriela Iloilo City chairperson Roxanne Javellana said.

Javellana added that the Filipino people, the peasants and national minorities, have suffered for more than a century of historical injustice because of the US political and economic domination of the Philippines.

“Because of US control in the Philippines, we are suffering economic policies such as the trade liberalization that allows big capitalists to destroy our local economy, deregulation on prices of petroleum products and privatization of utilities and services that denies our people the access to basic social services such as health and education,” said Lucy Francisco, national vice chairperson of Gabriela Women’s Party.

While it is a positive pronouncement, the group however reminded the president to also be critical.

“[T]he separation (from US) should not be a change to a new imperialist master (with China, Japan, or Russia). The president should also bear in mind that there could never be a real independent foreign policy without independent economic policy and it could be realized through genuine land reform and national industrialization,” Francisco added.

The black Friday protest also condemned the police’s violent dispersal of protesters led by Lumad and Moro peoples at the US Embassy on October 19.

READ: Youth, lawyer groups denounce police brutality vs national minority at US embassy protest

The rally at the US Embassy sought to condemn US historical oppression on national minorities through development aggression (dams, mining, logging and foreign plantations) and to show support for President Duterte’s assertion of an independent foreign policy for the country.

The group also slammed the US-backed counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan [under Benigno Aquino regime] that heaped countless human rights violations against national minorities and farmers who struggle for their land, rights and just peace.

“The violation and indignity against the Filipino people has to end,” Javellana said. (


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