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CONDEMN APEC AS AN IMPERIALIST INSTRUMENT OF PLUNDER, PERSEVERE IN THE STRUGGLE FOR NATIONAL AND SOCIAL LIBERATION

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) vigorously condemns the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as an imperialist instrument of plunder and greed. The Filipino people have long suffered under the economic policies and multilateral agreements aggressively pushed by the APEC which have only ensured the interests of the advanced capitalist economies, especially that of the United States. Its key role is to facilitate, through such policies and agreements, the implementation of neoliberal policy regime in its various components: wage squeeze, social cutbacks, trade and investment liberalization, deregulation, privatization and denationalization of underdeveloped economies to serve the interests of the monopoly bourgeoisie, especially the financial oligarchy.

Student protesters clash with Philippine police during a rally near the U.S. embassy ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Manila November 17, 2015. REUTERS/Cheryl Gagalac TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Student protesters clash with Philippine police during a rally near the U.S. embassy ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Manila November 17, 2015. REUTERS/Cheryl Gagalac TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

APEC meetings have been facilitating the imposition of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement on Asia-Pacific countries, frontally and via backdoor channels. Now that the TPP agreement has been signed by the Obama administration and its full text openly circulated, it is being exposed and questioned, if not outrightly rejected, as the bleeding edge of the US-led neoliberal offensive in this part of the world. This year’s APEC meetings hosted by the Philippines are thus expected to push for a consensus on the TPP and related agreements as well.

The Aquino regime, current host of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, is an avid neo-colonial puppet of the United States. The “free market” globalization policies the regime has adopted and agreements it has signed have meant ever more intolerable exploitation and oppression of the Filipino people. They have caused worsening poverty, persistent joblessness and landlessness, the exodus of overseas Filipino workers, further commercialization of education and other basic services, military and paramilitary attacks against the Lumad and other indigenous people to open up their ancestral lands to destructive mining, palm oil and other plantatiions, and further destruction of the environment. The urban poor are subjected to demolition and uprooting to favor comprador capitalist “developers” through Public Private Partnership projects.

Activists hold up torches while marching towards to the U.S Embassy during a rally ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting, in Manila November 13, 2015. The banner reads, "Rise for education, rights, and freedom. Fight oppression and plunder. Junk APEC!". REUTERS/Ezra Acayan

Activists hold up torches while marching towards to the U.S Embassy during a rally ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting, in Manila November 13, 2015. The banner reads, “Rise for education, rights, and freedom. Fight oppression and plunder. Junk APEC!”. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan

Neoliberal globalization worsens the conditions of the students and teachers and their families through the Aquino regime’s K-12 program. Its objective to adapt to international standards is actually aligning the educational system to the demand of foreign markets and away from the Philippines’ and its people’s own development needs. Schools will become ever more prolific producers of cheap labor-ready youth.

The brunt of the worsening exploitation and oppression caused by neoliberal globalization falls mainly on the masses of peasants, workers, indigenous people, urban poor and overseas Filipino workers. But it is the entire Filipino nation that is adversely affected by the sell out of our resources, patrimony and sovereignty.

The Filipino people stand firm against the exploitative and oppressive neoliberal policies aggressively pushed by the APEC, and are exercising vigilance on the expected outcomes of APEC’s Manila meetings. They persevere relentlessly in the struggle for national sovereignty, national patrimony and self-reliant development through national industrialization and genuine land reform. They carry forward the revolutionary tradition of our forebears against Spanish and US colonial rule, and the US-dominated neocolonial system that followed.

We draw inspiration too from our people’s heroic struggle against the US backed-Marcos dictatorhip, and all the pseudo-democratic regimes that followed, including the current Aquino regime.

We are resolutely determined to continue pursuing our revolutionary struggle for national and social liberation.

NATIONAL COUNCIL
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES

APEC’s Neoliberal Agenda Further Underdevelopment, Worsen Economic Conditions of Cebuanos and the Entire Filipino People

PRESS STATEMENT
August 23, 2015

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences in Cebu have begun. Other parts of the Visayas have also hosted APEC conferences throughout the year. These meetings will culminate in APEC’s Economic Leader’s Meeting in Manila this November.

There has been a media hype on the APEC Summit. Local organizers claim that hosting the APEC Summit 2015 provides opportunities to boost Cebu’s economy. It is said to feature the province’s business environment and thus attract investors.

Such sugar-coating cannot conceal the day-to-day sufferings the Cebuanos and the Filipino people have long endured brought about by economic policies aggressively pushed by imperialist organizations like APEC. Since its establishment in 1989, the APEC has done nothing but ensure the interests of the advanced capitalist economies especially that of the United States. Its key role is to facilitate the implementation of the components of neoliberal globalization namely trade and investment liberalization, deregulation, privatization and denationalization in underdeveloped countries.

The current Aquino Regime is an avid neo-colonial puppet of the United States. The “free market” globalization policies it adopted bodes a deepening and an intensification of the backwardness of the Philippine economy which means worsening poverty, persistent joblessness and landlessness, the exodus of overseas Filipino workers, further commercialization of education and other basic services, and more. It is a sell out of our resources, patrimony and sovereignty.

The brunt of the effects of neoliberal globalization is mostly felt by the broad masses.

In Cebu, the daily minimum wage of P275-P340 is not sufficient to decently provide for an average household size of 5 people. It is a far cry from the needed daily family living wage of P1,086. Contractualization and the two-tiered system worsen working conditions. Furthermore, the prices of basic needs and commodities have unceasingly increased.

The on-going privatization of the Metro Cebu Water District through PNoy’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and the already private-owned Visayan Electric Cooperative have brought about the increase of water and electricity prices in the first half of 2015.

This year, there is a projected increase of 544,000 persons in Cebu province and the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu. This means additional congestion in the urban poor areas where there are day-to-day threats of demolition. This migration to the cities is caused by landlessness and the lack of decent work opportunities in the rural areas. In North Cebu, especially in towns affected by typhoon Yolanda, poverty has aggravated due to government neglect and the corruption of public funds. The programs intended for rehabilitation and recovery are anti-poor and favor foreign interests and tourism.

More PPPs will be implemented in Cebu like the Bus Rapid Transit wherein 2,614 Public Utility Jeepney drivers will be affected in its Phase 1 implementation. Moreover, the PPP scheme’s supply and pricing of public service is biased to the profits of the private provider and is not driven to serve the need of the majority of the people.

The education sector is not spared from the effects of neoliberal globalization. PNoy’s K-12 program will further the already declining quality of education. Its said objective to adapt to international standards is actually aligning the educational system to the demand of foreign markets. Schools, aside from being diploma mills, will become producers of cheap labor-ready youth.

All these are manifestations of the detriment caused by imperialist agenda particularly of the US. It is a result of a Philippine economy that for decades has been servile to imperialist mechanisms like the APEC.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) – Visayas stresses the need to raise the awareness of the Filipino people on the adverse effects of the APEC to the Philippines contrary to the bogus development touted in mainstream media. We must actively oppose the neoliberal offensives that have been eagerly implemented by the Aquino II Regime. A national democratic revolution through protracted people’s war is necessary to end the current semi-feudal and semi-colonial crisis and attain national liberation and democracy, national industrialization, agrarian reform and genuine socio-economic development.

Pax Enguerra
NDFP Visayas Media Liaison