ASEAN protests end with burning of US flag in Mendiola

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2017 05:19 PM

MANILA - Rallies against the United States and the ASEAN Summit ended on Tuesday with the burning of a mock American flag at the foot of Mendiola bridge. 

Protesters from various militant groups blasted ASEAN for supposedly focusing only economic policies, such as free trade agreements with the US, which they say do not directly benefit the poor. 

They also called US President Donald Trump, who also participated in the ASEAN meetings, a "fascist" and an "imperialist." They protested various policies of the Duterte administration.

Thousands of militants who attempted to go near the venue of the ASEAN Summit yesterday burned a 13-foot effigy of Trump, depicting the US President as a four-armed "fascist spinner."

The rallies today were relatively peaceful compared to Monday's, where authorities used water canons and sonic devices to disperse thousands of protesters on Padre Faura St., Manila. 

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, meanwhile, hit Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for not being able to take back the garbage a private company in Canada shipped to the Philippines.

The lawmaker called the Canadian leader, who charmed Filipinos when he visited a local fast-food chain and a woman's advocacy center in Manila, "pa-cute."

"Hindi nila ma-address ang mga batayang isyu, halimbawa, nagpapa-cute si Prime Minister Trudeau pero hindi nila makuha-kuha ang basura nila," Zarate said. 

Groups who joined the protests Tuesday include Bayan, Karapatan, Migrante, Ban Toxics, and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance.

TRUDEAU: WORK IN PROGRESS 

In a press conference earlier Tuesday, Trudeau said Canada continues to work towards resolving the problem over a private firm's garbage shipment to the Philippines in 2013 after the government tried but failed to take the waste back. 

Trudeau said he and President Rodrigo Duterte touched on the matter during talks on Tuesday morning. 

"We also discussed the garbage issue which has been a long-standing irritant and I committed to him as I am happy to commit to you all now that Canada is very much engaged in finding a solution on that," he said

Trudeau said the Canadian government has worked around its laws to take back the garbage shipment but was barred by restrictions. 

"Canadian legal regulations prevented us from being able to receive the waste back to Canada. We had legal barriers and restrictions that prevented us from taking it back, but that's done now," Trudeau said.

There are still questions being discussed, he said, such as "who will 
pay for it, where the financial responsibility is."

Ontario-based private firm Chronic Inc had imported to the Philippines at least 55 containers filled with trash, including household waste, in 2013. They were misdeclared as plastic scraps. 
Intercepted in Manila, some of the containers were later sent to a landfill in Capas, Tarlac. -- with a report from Kat Domingo, ABS-CBN News