“There is nothing new to this APEC propaganda line. Since its establishment in 1989, the APEC consistently repeated grand words such as ‘inclusive growth’, ‘resilient communities’ and ‘regional stability’, and ‘economic cooperation’ like a broken record. The Philippine government, on the other hand, swallowed its neoliberal agenda hook, line, and sinker – which resulted in the growing inequality between the rich and the poor,” said Leody de Guzman, lead convenor of SLAM APEC and president of Bukluran ng Manggagagawang Pilipino (BMP).
“In two decades, the local oligarchy, represented by Sy, Tan, Gokongwei, Aboitiz, Ayala, etc., gained from the imperialist plunder of the local economy as they stood as partners to joint ventures by foreign capital in their investments to the Philippines. These corporations are primarily represented in the APEC by global leaders such as US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,” de Guzman added.
The labor leader claimed that the “inclusive economy being referred to by APEC is not the inclusion of workers and the poor towards the equitable distribution of social wealth but the mere inclusion of Third World economies into the ‘global value chain’ of transnational monopolies and into the world market of non-levied imports. This so-called inclusive growth strategy serves monopoly capital at the expense of the rights and welfare of the toiling majority in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“Similar to President Noynoy Aquino’s empty rhetoric, the APEC uses ambiguous language to hide its hideous agenda of corporate domination over humanity. But in 19 years since their summit in Subic, the Filipino people now knows that this forum is nothing but more trade liberalization, further deregulation of strategic industries, additional privatization of state assets, worsening of contractual employment and working conditions, the legitimization of public-private partnerships, and the subjugation of small and medium enterprises that presently thrive in local markets,” he furthered.
The BMP and other labor federations and organizations under the SLAM APEC marched with organizations Sanlakas, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) and Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod with the aim of reaching the Philippine International Convention Center, the venue of APEC economic leaders meeting.
The marchers convened in front of the University of Sto. Tomas along Espana Boulevard before marching towards the heavily-guarded summit venue at the PICC via Taft Avenue.
Meanwhile Sanlakas secretary general Atty. Aaron Pedrosa said that, “even before the arrival of the APEC VIPs, thousands of ordinary Filipinos – such as street dwellers and informal vendors – have been subject to human rights abuses in the light of Noynoy’s preparation for the exclusively elitist forum”.
“Noynoy Aquino is hellbent on grandstanding to appease his real bosses. He is truly a neocolonial puppet of his imperial masters. In its 2015 summit, APEC proved to be not just a meeting of representatives of global capital but a ostentatious burden to residents of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, particularly to call center workers who must go to work despite the horrendous traffic situation,” he stressed.
On his part, PLM chairperson Sonny Melencio assailed the APEC and its “deceitful and fallacious promises of economic growth."
“The leaders of these nation-states are mere spokespersons of monopoly capital. They have no intention of building a better and humane world as they simply seek recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis by helping multinational companies to gain access to new markets and to a cheap supply of raw and semi-processed materials. The APEC framework, objective, and policies are patently pro-imperialist, anti-worker and anti-poor,” he expounded.
He explained that the Manila summit of the annual APEC meet would serve as “preliminaries” to the upcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations in December. “Developed countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia want to consolidate their position on controversial issues that stalled the Doha round of WTO trade talks since 2008,” Melencio concluded.
SLAM APEC! Lead Convenor and BMP President
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa 0927-5924830
Sanlakas Secretary General
Sonny Melencio 0908-8173169