We, the Philippine groups representing various interests and advocacies, including those on human rights, labor, women, youth, urban poor, Moro and IPs, environment, and political parties, form ourselves today into NO TO WAR network in solidarity with the world’s people who are suffering from the devastating impacts of ongoing conflicts and in preventing the slide of other conflicts into new wars, including those in Asia and possibly in the Philippines. As an anti-war network, we are campaigning for peace with justice and will continue to oppose the ruling establishment’s inclination toward war, militarization, colonization, and destruction, both of humanity and the environment.
In solidarity with the Palestinian people, we join the international community in calling for a permanent ceasefire, a stop to genocide in Gaza, and an end to Israeli occupation. Words cannot adequately convey the horrors of war being experienced by the Palestinians from the endless airstrikes and ground raids carried out by Israel. There must be a stop to this genocide and human suffering!
We advocate for an unconditional and permanent ceasefire because we believe this is the critical first step towards de-escalation, facilitating humanitarian aid, and creating a conducive environment for brokering negotiations and dialogues. Without a a permanent ceasefire, sparks of violence will only lead to the escalation of further violence.
The international community, especially the free countries within the United Nations, must step up to address the intensifying humanitarian crisis in Gaza. They should redouble their efforts to find diplomatic and political solutions to the Palestine-Israel conflict and cease support for Israel’s campaign of siege and genocide in Gaza by halting aid from the US and other western powers. As a contribution to the growing peace and anti-war movement across the globe, the Philippines’ NO TO WAR network will be holding a series of activities ranging from teach-ins, physical and online fora, as well as direct actions to amplify our cause.
In particular, in addition to its obligation to secure Filipinos on both sides, including the safe release of the remaining Filipino hostages in Gaza, we urge the Philippine government to support the UN resolution calling for a ceasefire and the creation of free corridors for humanitarian aid. In the 1930s, when many other countries refused to take in Holocaust refugees, our nation welcomed 1,200 Jewish individuals from Shanghai, China, ensuring their safety from the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany. In a similar manner, we implore the Philippine government not to abstain and, once again, to stand against genocide—this time, by calling on Israel for a permanent ceasefire.
On November 30, the NO TO WAR network will link up with Nagkaisa Labor Coalition in commemorating Andres Bonifacio’s day. Bonifacio, alongside fellow Katipuneros and Katipuneras, led the revolutionary resistance against Spanish colonialism. Members of NO TO WAR collectively believe that the historical legacy of colonialism, occupation, and militarism has perpetuated conflicts throughout modern times. Therefore, our opposition remains against militarization and the imposition of unjust policies by foreign powers in our country. NO TO WAR will also be part of the human rights community in celebrating Human Rights Week at the start of December.
NO TO WAR network is composed of the following organizations (As of November 28, 2023: Amnesty International Philippines Coalition Against Human Trafficking of Women-Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), Dakila, Federation of Free Labor, Focus on the Global South, KAGULONG, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend), Laban Kababaihan, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), MINDANOW, Nagkaisa Labor Coalition, National Federation of Labor, Partido Manggagawa (PM), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation, Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Tara Kabataan, United Filipino Service Workers, United Muslim Alliance for Development (UMA DEV), World March of Women – Pilipinas, Anak Mindanao-Youth, Bangsa ,IIRE-Manila, Alyansa ng Mamamayan Para sa Karapatang Pantao.