Pinoy protesters cry: Dump Trump
Hundreds of Filipinos converged on the US Embassy in Manila on Friday to denounce Donald Trump ahead of his inauguration as president of the United States, accusing him of sexism, racism and xenophobia.
Chanting “Dump Trump,” the protesters from leftist groups also expressed concerns that Trump was a threat to the millions of Filipino immigrants living in the United States.
They also urged President Rodrigo Duterte to keep his promise of charting a foreign policy independent of America by staying away from Trump after the Republican’s inauguration.
‘Racist, sexist, xenophobic’
“It is alarming to know that an accused sexual predator, a known racist, sexist, xenophobic man is assuming the presidency of the strongest capitalist country in the world,” Joms Salvador, secretary general of the women’s group Gabriela, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“The decades of struggle of women across the world to fight for their rights is threatened by Trump’s presidency,” Salvador said.
The roughly 300 people who gathered near the US Embassy held placards with the message “@realDonaldTrump hands off Filipino immigrants” and “Trump you’re trash.”
They symbolically dumped photos of Trump in the rubbish bin.
Trump defeated the Democrat’s candidate Hillary Clinton after a divisive campaign in which the real-estate billionaire vowed to deport millions of illegal migrants and faced multiple accusations of sexual harassment.
Fil-Ams’ job security
“We are very concerned about Filipino workers in the US dealing with a rise of racism. Some Filipinos there are getting paranoid about their personal safety and their job security,” Salvador said.
The Philippines, a former American colony, has strong cultural and economic ties with the United States.
Exporting capitalist model
The two countries are bound by a mutual defense treaty and US forces have for many years helped the Philippines on various security issues.
But leftist groups have long railed against the United States for exporting its capitalist model and for what they see as continued American domination of the Philippines.
Protesters at Friday’s rally also burned an American flag as they reiterated their longtime demands for US troops to leave the Philippines and the tearing up of what they called “unequal” military agreements.
More alarming than Obama
Riot police prevented the protesters from getting close to the US Embassy’s main gate.
The protesters said they found Trump more alarming than outgoing US President Barack Obama because of his offensive remarks against immigrants and Muslims.
“Obama sugarcoated imperialism but Trump has shown an in-your-face kind of imperialism,” said protest leader Renato Reyes of the left-wing Bayan group, adding Mr. Duterte “should stick to his independent foreign policy.”
Bilateral relations have soured under Mr. Duterte, a self-declared socialist who has pivoted his nation’s foreign policy toward China and Russia since taking office nearly seven months ago.
Mr. Duterte blasted Obama for criticizing his brutal war on drugs, but congratulated Trump in a phone call after the Republican’s election. —REPORTS FROM AFP AND AP
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.