#LakbayLumadUSA, a delegation of indigenous Lumad leaders from Mindanao the southernmost island of the Philippines, has been traveling throughout the United States since April and is culminating its historical speaking tour in New York City. The delegates have been calling public attention to the violent repression against the Lumad committed by President Noynoy Aquino’s military, police and paramilitary forces; demanding accountability; and challenging the Mindanao-native and President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to end the impunity.
Now, in the same week as the 17th anniversary of the VFA signing, the Lumad delegates will be joining Filipinos and allies in the Northeast to protest the unrestricted U.S. military aid flowing to the Philippine military and the continued U.S. military and economic intervention in the Philippines. The controversial (VFA) has served as the basis for U.S. intervention in the Philippines and paved the way for the indefinite permanent presence of at least 660 U.S. Special Operations Forces in Mindanao, dozens of annual war games with thousands of foreign troops on Philippine soil and in Philippine waters, and unlimited docking and travel of U.S. warships in Philippine ports and through Philippine land and airspace. This year, the United States increased its military aid to the Philippines from $50 million to $79 million. BAYAN USA Northeast condemns this foreign military financing as a tool of imperialism, which is wrongly justified as a way to “assist” the Philippines in the midst of rising tensions with China.
We urge you to join us in ensuring that U.S. tax dollars are not used to perpetuate blatant human rights violations under the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino and the incoming administration of Rodrigo Duterte. We call on the prosecution and jailing of the President Benigno S. Aquino, whose administration was the primary actor responsible for the human rights violations against the Lumad. We also celebrate the victories of the Lumad people in the midst of adversity and their relentless struggle towards peace with justice!
Let us bid our Lumad brothers and sisters farewell and safe travels as they end their historic speaking tour in the U.S in the best way we know how — JOIN THEM IN THEIR JUST & RIGHTEOUS DEMANDS FOR JUSTICE!!
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