Maids thorn in Duterte's rosymid-term report

Local | Mary Ann Benitez 22 Jul 2019

An alliance of Filipino domestic workers' groups and their Hong Kong supporters are preparing a stinging report card on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte today, midway into his six-year term that has been rocked by thousands of extrajudicial killings.

The workers' groups - Bayan HK and Macau, and the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines - will hold an hour's protest "to denounce the autocratic, traitor and No 1 anti-poor and anti-migrant president" this afternoon at the Philippine consulate in Admiralty.

One of the groups, United Filipinos-Migrante HK, which is marking its 34th anniversary this month, expects to see at least 50 workers' leaders and supporters turn up.

"Unity Sona [State of the Nation Address] is a global movement and Filipino communities in various countries will hold protests," said its chairwoman, Dolores Balladares, yesterday.

"We also call on those who can get out even for an hour to join us. We have local friends and migrants from other nationalities who will join," she said.

Duterte is set to deliver his fourth state-of-the-nation address at the Philippine congress in Quezon City today.

His government released "real numbers" of drug-related deaths on Thursday, saying 134,583 anti-drugs operations led to the arrest of 193,086 "drug personalities" as of June.

Of these, 5,526 "drug personalities died during anti-illegal drugs operations." Rights groups have maintained that 27,000 Filipinos had been killed in Duterte's war on drugs.

Unifil-Migrante recently said allied progressive groups have been labelled as "communists" by Duterte's newly created National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

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