CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The League of Filipino Students in Northern Mindanao Region (LFS-NMR) joined other youth groups in the country in staging protest actions Thursday morning, November 9 ahead of the scheduled visit of United States President Donald Trump to the country a couple of days from now.
Kristine Cabardo, LFS-NMR chairperson, said the US has brought the Philippine “nothing but wars and destruction in its neo-colonies such as ours.”
The LFS, along with the other civil society organizations, has accused American intervention in the affairs of the Philippines, particularly in the various forms of war the state has waged, the latest of which was the conflict in Marawi City caused by the fighting between government forces and extremists.
“The US-instigated war on terror has affected and displaced over 600,000 Meranaos in the Marawi Crisis,” Cabardo said, adding that in some areas in Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions, the indigenous peoples were driven off, harassed, arrested, and even killed due to corporate aggression in their land.
All these socio-economic and political problems, she said, ”are caused by the neoliberal policies that are now being adopted by the government, citing the unabated price hike of basic commodities, oil deregulation law, tax reform program, and privatization of basic industries like water and electricity as prime examples”.
In Cagayan de Oro City, residents have expressed fear that the US military, through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA, will open the market for prostitution like what happened in Olongapo and Subic in Luzon which will endanger the women and children.
“Knowing that US is launching wars all over the world, we face grave threats of going into wars that are not ours,” she added.
These neoliberal policies, Cabardo said, have put the ordinary people at a disadvantage by the government.
“We are their victims – we are the ones deprived of our basis rights in exchange of their profit from hospitalization to education, and other social services. All these problems are manifestation of how this puppet government conspired with its imperialist boss to exploit the nation and the people,” she said.
At the protest action on Thursday, members of the LFS-NMR burned a mock version of the US flag and took turns in destroying a photo of Trump. (davaotoday.com)