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Manila's poor protest ahead of ASEAN meeting

Activist groups oppose regional summit's anti-poor agenda, presence of Donald Trump

Manila's poor protest ahead of ASEAN meeting

Protesters burn a replica of the American flag during a protest in Manila on Nov. 6 ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to the country. (Photo by Maria Tan)

 

November 8, 2017

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The urban poor in Manila have held various protests ahead of a scheduled Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) summit in the Philippines next week.

The protesters criticized the international meeting for its "undoubtedly anti-poor agenda" and raised alarm at the "inevitable profiteering of powerful countries from the reconstruction of Marawi.

Close to 400,000 people were affected and millions of dollars worth of property were lost due to the five-month terrorist occupation of the southern Philippine city this year.

The urban poor group Kadamay also protested the visit of US President Donald Trump who will attend the regional summit in Manila.

Kadamay chairwoman Gloria Arellano described Trump as "the world’s most powerful president and a real estate magnate with a history of evicting poor citizens."

Arellano said Philippine President Rofrigo Duterte will "no doubt bow down" to please Trump "to gain concessions for big businesses in Marawi and the entire country."

She said the ASEAN summit is only an occasion for the Philippine government "to further open up our country to plunder and interventionism."

Kadamay also protested the boarding up of "eyesores" during the meeting next week to hide the homeless, vendors, and other poor communities.

 

 

 

 

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