DuterTrump possible meeting on human rights, one big sick joke

“US Pres Donald Trump and Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte talking about human rights is one big sick joke. These representatives of State terrorism have a distorted notion of people’s rights, and the people have nothing to expect from their upcoming empty talk on human rights, if they do talk about it,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, criticizing both Trump and Duterte’s record of violations. 

According to a report published by Brown University’s Watson Institute, the United States has spent $4.3 trillion in its wars in Asia and the Middle East from September 2001 to 2017. Furthermore, the Trump administration has already dropped 32, 801 bombs in at least seven countries in Asia and the Middle East in 2017 alone. The US, according to its own Department of Defense, maintains its military presence in 172 countries around the world.   

“We expect Trump to talk about human rights with such a record? This is a different level of shamelessness, hypocrisy and pretense. The Trump administration is allocating more for the destruction and plunder of nations, with $5.7 billion requested by the US Defense Department for foreign military servicing to fund US interventionist wars all over the world, alongside shoving their version of ‘democracy’ down peoples’ throats – no doubt an arrangement where subservience and puppetry to US demands remain the order of the day,” Palabay said. 

Karapatan’s secretary general underscored the need to question this so-called war on terror that the US is insistently waging. “Is it resolving the fundamental issues plaguing our country and other countries in which the US has waged its interventionist wars? On the contrary, the problem is escalating, and so is the bombing, the military spending, and the human rights violations. When the dust has settled, the historical injustices and the roots of the conflicts remain unsolved,” she said. 

“The same militarist framework is being adapted in countries all over the world, including the Philippines. In support of the all-out-war in the country, the US is allocating $111 million in foreign military assistance next year, in comparison to $47 million this year,” added Palabay. 

Karapatan has received reports of at least 12 incidents of aerial bombings in different parts of the country, mostly in Mindanao and more prominently in Marawi City. This has contributed largely to the 421, 833 victims of forced evacuations, mostly as a result of the aerial bombardment in Marawi City.  Many evacuees still remain in evacuation centers. “Officials have already estimated that rehabilitation efforts would amount to more than Php50 billion. Residents have yet to recover, but private firms are already salivating, seeing peso signs in the city pulverized by government bombs,” Palabay said. 

“Following the US’ militarist, and fascist ways, Duterte remains keen on implementing his US-directed counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan, alongside martial law and other anti-poor and anti-people State policies. On the grounds of what both Duterte and Trump has done and is continuously doing, it is not that they do not understand the concept of human and people’s rights, it is that they just do not care for it. It is thus more urgent for the people to continue to resist against State terror and imperialism, and to make these leaders accountable for the violations they instigated,” concluded Palabay.  

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-979058