Manila

Long-time feminist and socialist Reihana Mohideen on the dire situation in the Philippines, where workers in the informal sector and the urban poor are bearing the brunt of a woefully inadequate health response by the Rodrigo Duterte regime.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s strong-armed response to the COVID-19 pandemic contrasts with its failure to deliver basic public services, including healthcare, to the people, writes Reihana Mohideen.

Public outrage has prevented the release on “good conduct” grounds of former mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was convicted for rape and murder in 1993

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the planned release of Sanchez on August 19, citing a 2013 law that allows for reducing jail time for “good conduct”.

However, according to the same law, “persons charged with heinous crimes”, such as Sanchez, are excluded from jail time reductions.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed the Security of Tenure Bill on July 26, which seeks to regulate the practice of job contracting (labour hire) in the country, writes Merck Maguddayao.

The burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani — LNMB) was hurriedly and secretively carried out, with military-style logistical support.

Marcos ruled the Philippines from 1965 until he was overthrown in the Peoples Power EDSA Uprising of 1986. He died in exile in the US three years later.

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement declaring his intentions to “separate” from the United States in both military and economic relations should be welcomed, but it’s easier said than done. Hence the president’s constant “backtracking” on his statements.

Given the president’s inconsistency, the question is posed: What does it mean to be an anti-imperialist government today? And is lining up with China (and to a lesser-extent Russia) an anti-imperialist positioning?

Thousands marched in protest during the APEC Summit held in Manila on November 18-19. US President Barack Obama turned up with a "gift" of two warships to the summit perversely themed of this APEC Summit is "Building Inclusive Growth". More than a quarter of Filipinos are struggling to survive on less than US$1.25 per day but Obama does not come with food, clothing, housing or anything urgently needed by these millions in extreme poverty, but with two warships to underline Washington's latest military build up against China.
The Manila Seedling Bank, a seven hectare area of small market gardens and big and small shops selling plants, was a rare green space among the traffic jams, shopping malls and slums on the intersection of Quezon and Edsa Avenues in Quezon City, Metro Manila. It was also home to a community of hundreds of smallholding horticulturalists and their families. That was until January 20.
Residents in the urban poor settlement of San Dionisio in Barangay Cupang, Muntinlupa in Metro Manila, were woken on January 15 by a heavily armed police SWAT team. Brandishing a local government order that referred to an address in a different barangay (neighbourhood), authorities overrode objections of residents and started tearing down their homes.
At a one-day assembly of more than 500 delegates on November 28, the militant socialist Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM) introduced its candidates for national elections scheduled for May 13 next year. The PLM, which now holds positions in several Barangay (neighbourhood) councils, is running 20 candidates for municipal councillor, vice-mayor, mayor and Congress. They include candidates in Negros and Iligan, in the Philippine archipelago’s south. Most candidates, however, are in Metro Manila or the semi-urban provinces surrounding the capital: Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan and Laguna.

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