Davao activists back Duterte’s push for independent foreign policy

Sep. 12, 2016
Davao City protesters burn a US flag to protest its war on terror. (Medel V. Hernani/davaotoday.com)

Davao City protesters burn a US flag to protest its war on terror. (Medel V. Hernani/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY – Activists in the city lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement calling on the United States’ responsibilities on the human rights violations in the island of Mindanao, in a picket rally held Sunday, September 11.

“We laud him on holding the US accountable on the human rights violations and recognizing the massacre here in Mindanao,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Southern Mindanao spokesperson Sheena Duazo said.

She said they hope the President will continue his “anti-imperialist stance” and that his administration will junk the “one-sided” agreements signed between the Philippines and the US.

Before attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit held in Laos this year, Duterte, triggered by a question from a reporter, said that he should not be questioned by US President Barack Obama on the issue of extrajudicial killings in the country as the US also has accountabilities.

Dutere cited the Bud Dajo Massacre during the American occupation in the Philippines, which led to killing of hundreds of Moro people.

Duazo said that they were glad when Duterte brought the issue on human rights “that we have long been calling for the US to be accountable.”

“It is the first time that a President of the Philippines brought this up to the international scene,” Duazo said.

“That is why we are now expressing our support through our calls to prevent these injustices to happen again,” Duazo added.

She said that Duterte should junk the “unequal treaties and agreements” between the Philippines and the US which were signed by the previous administrations.

She added that they held their protest to let the people in Davao know what Duterte is talking about, “he traces historical injustices committed by the US here in Mindanao.”

Upon his arrival from the ASEAN Summit Saturday past midnight, Duterte said that he will pursue an independent foreign policy.

He said that he will insist “on the time-honored principles of sovereign equality, non-interference and commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes to best serve our people and protect the interests of our country.”

With Duterte’s statement on foreign policy, Duazo said that the Filipino should stick with him on this matter.

“This is a challenge to the Filipino people that we should not be colonized, and the people should claim our sovereignty,” Duazo said. (davaotoday.com)

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