Statement of Solidarity and Support for Walden Bello

Manila (source: PIxabay, CC)

Sign the statement against the life-threatening harassment of the Philippine Hugpong ng Pagbabago party against Prof. Walden Bello, co-founder of and current senior analyst at the Bangkok-based think tank Focus on the Global South and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Let us stand together against the suppression of free speech and all forms of harassment!

Sign the statement here.

Deadline: 8 April 2022

Issued by Focus on the Global South. This article was published on 6 April 2022 at the site of Transform!Europe.

In a recent statement released by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP or Alliance for Change), the regional party founded by Sara Duterte, daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, activist-scholar Professor Walden Bello was unfoundedly and maliciously labelled as a “narco-politician.”

Prof. Bello is currently running for Vice President under Laban ng Masa (Fight of the Masses), a left-wing electoral coalition of democratic socialist and progressive groups, against Sara Duterte and several other candidates for the May 2022 Philippine National Elections. Last March 20, 2022, in a televised debate, Prof. Bello called out the issue of illicit drug trade in Davao City, dubbing it the “Drug Center” of Southern Philippines. Prof. Bello questioned why the former aide of Sara Duterte (Davao City’s incumbent Mayor) was exonerated and freed despite clear involvement in a recent drug bust in Davao. Prof. Bello also pointed out that Sara Duterte’s refusal to attend the said debate displayed a glaring lack of public accountability in confronting the said issue, against the backdrop of thousands killed in the Duterte administration’s deadly “war on drugs”.  

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Cross-border Talks received key support!

(source: Cross-border Talks)

By having the Transform!Europe foundation as a partner the blog moves towards its expansion and adds a new co-host who is a Czech-Finnish cross-border person

Cross-border Talks, 2 April 2022

In March 2022 the Cross-border Talks podcast won a grant from the Austria-based Transform!Europe foundation for the development of 26 episodes. The grant covers various types of costs, related to production: episode preparation, transcription, translation, edition and other technical and operative costs. It doesn’t harm the editorial independence of the team, but provides new opportunities, as it opens the hosts of the podcast to a large group of progressive European and international activists, experts and politicians, who are part of the Transform!Europe network. 

Also in March, the team of the podcast was joined by Veronika Sušová-Salminen, another cross-border person. She is a Czech historian and political analyst currently living in Finland. She holds a Ph.D. in historical anthropology from the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University. Her research areas are nineteenth- and twentieth-century Central European and Russian history and politics. She is a regular political commentator in several Czech newspapers. Her book on the politics of Putin’s Russia was published in 2015.

We see these two pieces of news as recognition that the initial efforts of the podcast, accomplished by Malgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat and Vladimir Mitev have been seen positively by knowledgeable and open-minded people, who have realised that there is potential in this media effort. All of us are looking with fresh powers to continue practicing the cross-border reflection on international relations, which we see as our humble contribution to the formation of a regional and EU public space.

Photo: Transform!Europe’s logo (source: Transform!Europe)

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