1 May, 2020
Our warmest greetings of solidarity to all the working masses and people jointly participating in our 117th International Day of Labor. Celebrating the cause of our yearly commemoration in a moment of a global pandemic, is a prime occasion to advance the cause of our working masses in a period of many militarist lockdowns by many countries doubly damaging both political and economic situations affecting our people — majority of them are the working class.
Our united organizations: Anakbayan Europa, Migrante Europe, Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)-Europe have been conducting thematic weekly ‘noise barrage’ campaigns here in Europe in support and in solidarity of the countries deeply affected by the COVID crisis, and where many of our compatriots are working and living; our activities lead to this May 1st celebration of the International Day of Labor. In solidarity, with our Filipino people and the working masses, our theme for this global celebration is outlined in many of our consistent slogans: Ayuda Hindi Diktadura! Solusyong Medikal Hindi Aksyong Militar! Peace Talks Now! No to Martial Law! — Oust Duterte! These calls are clear reminders to the oppressive Duterte Government to address integrally the COVID-19 crisis affecting the working Filipinos.
Our collective solidarity call for this day of the workers and the toiling masses is End the de facto Martial Law in the Philippines! The current repressive regime of Duterte instituted the Executive Order No. 70, meant to violently attack the toiling masses and of continuing the militarist anti-communism violent hysteria; added by a revised Human Security Act suppressing political dissent, enhancing intelligence work like surveillance; harassing, arresting without judicial warrant; illegal detentions by military force — all targeting our leaders from different sectors, activists and even ordinary farm workers. Sadly, many of our leaders, organizers and members of sectoral organizations were murdered by state forces from the dictatorial order of Duterte.
During this COVID-19 crisis, instead of providing adequate solutions affecting the Filipinos, Duterte arrogantly continued to offer the alibi of declaring Martial Law, blaming the New People’s Army (NPA) who are doing relief work for those affected by the crisis in the hinterlands (and had earlier already declared ceasefire) of attacks on the government forces; and clearly ordering the hunt of legal nationalist organizations with this stern warning from Duterte himself: “lahat kayong mga legal fronts magtago na kayo. Magtago na kayo. Huwag ninyo akong bolahin…” (All of you who are members of the legal front organizations can already start hiding. Hide yourselves. Do not play with me… – Speech of Duterte last April 23, 2020) This warning is meant to suppress, and scare us from our collective call, but we are not afraid, we resist this dictatorship! We shout: End the de facto Martial Law in the Philippines! Oust Duterte!
A day before May 1, 2020 the state forces murdered Jory Porquia – an anti-Marcos activist during the Martial Law years, a leader of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) in the 80’s, and Bayan Muna Iloilo coordinator – just a week after the televised warning of the President of the Philippines on activists and organizations critical of his administration. We condemn this bastardly act on our fellow activist and labor organizer, End the Killings! We render our comradely appreciation of Jory Porquia’s dedication to the toiling and working masses in Iloilo, and the whole of Panay. We solicit for a united call of Justice for Jory! as we celebrate the International Day of Labor. ###
Bishop Antonio Ablon
Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines
Fr. Herbert Fadriquela
Andrew Rex Manalang