On June 12 Hindi-Pendence Day, NYCHRP Affirms the Struggle for Human Rights and Freedom

For Immediate Release

June 12, 2018

Reference: Glenn Ramirez, Organizational Development Officer, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), nychrp@gmail.com

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NEW YORK, NY – Today, June 12, marks 120 years since the Philippines declared independence from Spanish colonization. Many Filipino communities, both home and abroad, are commemorating this milestone with festivities. Lamentably, there is nothing to truly celebrate as the Philippines is not yet an actual sovereign.

Last week, on June 3, 2018, members of NYCHRP joined migrants, professors, college students, youth, children, activists, members of the Filipino diaspora, and other human rights defenders, advocates, and allies for a Black Sunday Protest that took place during the annual Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City. Led by the Malaya Movement as part of their campaign to Resist Duterte’s Dictatorship and Defend Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines, the action intended to register the growing concern amongst Filipinos and allies in the US by taking to the streets to march and rally in protest.

400 demonstrators wore black, marchers in protest took part of the parade, proceeding down Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. As the group approached the grandstand, the members of the demonstration laid down for a die-in to demonstrate the killings of people in the Philippines as a result of the drug war and others that have been killed through the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao and impunity in the country.

A few weeks before June 3, NYCHRP held a vigil to mourn the one year anniversary of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, commemorating all the lives that have been lost since this declaration and since Duterte’s presidency more generally, particularly in his War Against Drugs that has led to the killings of at least 20,000 Philippine people, a number that continues to rise every day.

NYCHRP is aware of this rise in the consolidation of Duterte’s power, and we remain vigilant by standing up for human rights, justice, and democracy.

NYCHRP condemns Duterte’s fascist regime and the actions of the Philippine government and those that support him. We reject his human rights violations, his anti-people policies, his corruption and his selling-out of Philippine sovereignty. We call for an end to the killings, his drug war, and the funding from the US that directly supports Duterte and his dictatorship.

As a member organization of the Northeast chapter of the recently launched ICHRP-US (International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines), it is our mission as peace loving people to raise awareness to the worsening human rights abuses happening in the Philippines.

We support the Philippine people in their quest to realize genuine democracy in their homeland.

STOP THE KILLINGS! FIGHT TYRANNY!

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June 3rd NYCHRP Statement on Human Rights and Democracy

Rodrigo from NYCHRP, the New York Committee of Human Rights in the Philippines, (a member of the ICHRP, the International Committee of Human Rights in the Philippines) shares the need for us to organize our people for genuine democracy.

NYCHRP Condemns Continuation of Martial Law in Mindanao and Extends Solidarity to the People of Marawi

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NYCHRP Condemns Continuation of Martial Law in Mindanao and Extends Solidarity to the People of Marawi
The following statement was made on May 23, 2018 by Malaika during NYCHRP’s vigil in memoriam of the victims of human rights violations due to Martial Law in the Philippines:

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. My name is Malaika and I am a New York-born Maranao. It has been one year since the Marawi Siege and the declaration of Martial law – and my relatives have still not returned. One year later and the Meranaos are still displaced. As we speak, there are one year old children – bomba kids as my Tita Unok lovingly says – who are growing up in a world without roots. For whom war torn lives is all they know.

One year later and the closest thing to “closure” that the Maranaos have are corrupt government plans, unanswered searches for the missing, a brief visit to the rubbles and looted houses of our one-year ago lives. Today, my relatives live 4 or 5 families to one small home in neighboring cities after being driven out of shelters. We are left out — left out of the news, left out of our homes, left out of the decisions on how to rebuild our city and left out of history. Worse than displaced – we are being actively replaced — replaced by lies, profit, and by military stronghold. Simply put, the Maranaos have suffered land grabbing and a loss of livelihood. As martial law stifles the voices calling for basic human decency, for accountability – they steal our land in the name of the War on Terror and sell it to the highest bidders. Hoping to replace us with a “virtual paradise”, to render our ancient city an empty shell of itself. Hoping to turn us indigenous people into brief captions of a storied past and turn living into dead museum pieces.

But the truth they try to obscure with the smoke screen of Bangon Marawi and superficial political players arguing over the crumbs they are trying to pass off as genuine efforts – the truth is my very existence even as an internationally displaced Moro is that the power to rebuild Marawi lies in the hands of the Maranao themselves. While they continue to try to actively keep us scattered, disconnected, and humiliated – the truth is our connectedness cannot be so easily erased. Panandem. I remember, the fierce spirit of the Maranao, the unconquered, who resisted the Spanish, who resisted the Americans and whose strength rages through my veins. Standing before you today, I carry the voice of the United Mothers of Marawi, of the fierce Maranao youth, of the people power that will always demand for justice. My duty today as a Maranao in New York – our duty as Filipinos, and allies- is to amplify the voices demanding justice for the Maranaos and the oppressed. We will not let Marawi be another overlooked destroyed culture and perpetually impoverished Muslim community – among the many littered throughout the global “War on Terror”. One year later, and we should not be defeated. One year later and the Maranao will be louder than ever. We will not be quiet. We will not be ignored.

We need to demand that Marawi is for the Maranaos not for foreign investors! We need to demand that the Maranaos be allowed to rebuild their own city. We need to stand with the Maranaos. Unite with us, fast with us, remember our hunger, and demand justice.

Please join our Muslim brothers and sisters in solidarity – amplify their voices and join them in their struggle. During this month of Ramadan, I urge you to fast in solidarity, break fast with us, build with us, and strengthen our collective struggles. Fight displacement! Defend ancestral land! Let the Maranaos return home!

#Love4Marawi #StandwithMarawi #DuyogRamadan #SolidarityIftar