Protests against Trump at US embassy in Manila

Manila, Jan 20 (IANS) Over 200 people gathered outside the US embassy in Manila on Friday to protest against Donald Trump’s inauguration as the new American President and demanded the departure of American troops from the Philippines.

According to officials, the protesters displayed placards and shouted slogans against Trump and US imperialism, in a peaceful protest under the watch of around 200 police officers, Efe news reported.

Jordan Fonda, an 18-year-old student, said even if the US administration changes, its imperialist policies will continue to be the same or worse, trying to manage and control the Philippines.

“It’s time for them to withdraw the troops,” he added.

In October, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte had vowed to repeal existing military agreements with the US to end the presence of American troops in the country within the next two years, and had promised to follow an independent foreign policy.

Actress and activist Monique Wilson, one of the protest organisers, said they hope Duterte will fulfil his promise of an independent foreign policy, adding that the archipelago was a sovereign state and does not need to depend on the US.

Many demonstrators also expressed fear over Trump’s ideas on immigration harming the nearly two million Filipinos living in the US, or those who were considering emigrating.

Jessica Antonio, secretary general of Bayan USA, a progressive Filipino association in the US, stressed Trump is anti-immigration and wants to deport many people, including Filipinos.

“Many Filipinos move to the US to earn money for their families and survive. If they reduce the quota of immigrants, poverty will increase here and many families will suffer,” she said.

Trump will be sworn-in on Friday as the 45th President of the US.