“As a rule they (foreigners) are not allowed to join protests. But we have to balance the situation. If the protest is peaceful, we will allow them (foreigners) to be there. But they will be dealt with after the protest,” said Chief Insp. Kim Molitas, spokesperson of the National Capital Region Police Office of the Philippine National Police.
Molitas said the police had coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration to monitor foreigners joining protest actions.
She added the police would exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with rallies held even without permit from the local government units.
Should the rallies turn violent, Molitas said all participants would be arrested and the foreigners who took part in the rally would be turned over to immigration authorities.
Some 350 global activists from 36 countries are reportedly coming to the country to question the relevance of the APEC.
Malcom Guy, Canadian film and television director and International League of People’s Struggle (IPLS) secretary-general, led delegates from several international organizations in visiting the country in time for the APEC.
“We will not mince our words. APEC claims that it is building a better world and is building inclusive economies. APEC, in fact, is peddling a lie and, in our opinion, the world would be better without APEC,” Guy said.
“APEC is only shaping a so-called ‘better’ world for the one percent of the richest and most powerful corporations and individuals. While the 99 percent, the rest of us, far from being better off, face environment degradation, rampant militarization, climate change catastrophes like Yolanda here in the Philippines and precarious working conditions with falling wages,” he said.
Guy added that another lie being peddled by APEC is that large-scale mining is good for APEC member countries.
“There are major Canadian mining companies like TVI operating in your country, particularly in Mindanao. This large-scale mining has led to environment destruction and loss of lives as increasing military presence displace whole communities of indigenous peoples,” he said.
Former party-list representative Liza Maza, Philippine coordinator of the ILPS, said that while APEC continues to promise better economies for its members, developing nations like the Philippines have in fact suffered from its trade policies.
Other visiting activists include Leila Khaled, member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Len Cooper, vice chairperson of the ILPS international coordinating committee and chairperson of ILPS Australia.
Source: Nov 14 Philstar