The flag of the Philippines hangs over Othello Park as the crowd listens to a speaker.

PHOTO ESSAY: Filipino Community Mobilizes Against Philippine President at Othello Park

by Ronnie Estoque

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission. 


On Saturday, July 31, BAYAN Seattle and Malaya Movement coordinated a rally and carnival to launch the Duterte Wakasan Na Movement, which seeks the resignation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for human rights violations in the country. Human Rights Watch reports that extrajudicial killings in the country — often committed under the guise of a “war on drugs” — have increased dramatically during the pandemic. 

The weekend event also included several bouncy houses for kids, food and games, and local performances from artists as well as group dancing. Several notable speakers in attendance included Miss Washington Maricres Castro and Washington State Sen. Rebecca Saldaña. Both expressed support for local community organizers.

“Under current President Duterte, the unjust system in the Philippines participates in suppressing dissent both by weaponizing the law to facilitate human rights abuses and by failing to enforce legal protections,” said Saldaña, who has served as a sub commissioner on Investigate PH — an organization currently conducting independent investigations of human rights violation in the country.

Last April, the Emerald published a photo essay that documented protests at Seafood City in Tukwila from the same organizations that led Saturday’s event at Othello Park. 

The Pacific Northwest is home to one of the largest Filipino populations in the country.

Local Filipino American artists created this piece depicting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Local Filipino American artists created this piece depicting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Signs that read "Duterte is an EPIC FAIL," "Stop the Killings," and "NTF-ELCAC BUWAGIN! ANAKBAYAN" on display at Othello Park.
A few signs created by local Filipino American activists were on display at Othello Park. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Michael Alcantara, member of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, speaks to the crowd gathered.
Michael Alcantara, member of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, speaks to the crowd gathered. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local artist and community organizer Enrico Abadesco (right) performs one of his songs.
Local artist and community organizer Enrico Abadesco (right) performs one of his songs. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Photo of Sen. Rebecca Saldaña expresses her support for the passing of the Philippine Human Rights Act.
Sen. Rebecca Saldaña expresses her support for the passing of the Philippine Human Rights Act. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Angela Ying, senior pastor at Bethany United Church of Christ, applauds one of the speakers during the event.
Angela Ying, senior pastor at Bethany United Church of Christ, applauds one of the speakers during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Several tables such as this one provided event attendees context about the relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines.
Several tables such as this one provided event attendees context about the relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local Filipino American rapper and artist Theomatic stands by a graffiti piece that he worked on during the event.
Local Filipino American rapper and artist Theomatic stands by a graffiti piece that he worked on during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A printout of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was attached to a boxing bag that was punched several times during the event.
A printout of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was attached to a boxing bag that was punched several times during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
Local Filipino American community members get their groove on and dance during the event.
Local Filipino American community members get their groove on and dance during the event. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
A woman blows bubbles for her child.
A woman blows bubbles for her child. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

Ronnie Estoque is a Seattle-based storyteller and aspiring documentarian. He is driven to uplift marginalized voices in the South Seattle community through his writing, photography, and videography. You can keep up with his work by following his Twitter and Instagram.

📸 Featured Image: The flag of the Philippines hangs over Othello Park as the crowd listens to a speaker. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)

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