Walden Bello

Walden Bello
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives for Akbayan Partylist
In office
June 30, 2007  March 16, 2015
Professor of Sociology and Public Administration at University of the Philippines
Personal details
Born Walden Flores Bello
(1945-11-11) November 11, 1945
Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Communist Party of the Philippines (1970s-2000s)
Akbayan Citizens' Action Party (2000s-present)
Alma mater Ateneo de Manila University, Princeton University

Walden Flores Bello (born November 11, 1945) is a Filipino academic who served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines. He is a professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines Diliman, as well as executive director of Focus on the Global South.

Early life

Bello was born in Manila, Philippines. His family paid for his Jesuit schooling at Ateneo de Manila University and he attended grad school at Princeton University. While attending Princeton in the United States, he was introduced to the anti-war movement and led an occupation of the Woodrow Wilson Center. The confrontation with police during these protests radicalized Bello and inspired him to pursue a life of activism. For his graduate studies, he traveled to Chile and stayed in shanty towns following Salvador Allende's socialist rise to the presidency.[1]

When he returned to the United States to defend his dissertation, he lost his ability to return to the Philippines after his passport had been revoked when the declaration of Martial Law by then-President Ferdinand Marcos on September 21, 1972.[2]


After earning his PhD in sociology in 1975 from Princeton, he then became part of the anti-Marcos movement, began teaching at the University of California, Berkeley and became a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines.[1] In 1978 after being arrested multiple times during protests, he was arrested after leading the takeover of the Philippine consulate in San Francisco. Bello was later released following a hunger strike to bring attention to the situation the Philippines was facing.[3] In the early-1980s, Bello also broke into the World Bank headquarters and stole 3,000 pages of confidential documents that he said would show the connection of the IMF and World Bank to Marcos.[3] He later wrote Development Debacle: the World Bank in the Philippines in 1982 surrounding the documents stating that this publication contributed toward the 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines, with Bello returning to his native state two years later.[1]

In 1995, Bello co-founded Focus on the Global South, a policy research institute based in Bangkok, Thailand.[3] Bello had also led teach-ins during the 1999 Seattle WTO protests and protested internationally against globalization at the 2001 G8 summit, the WTO Ministerial Conference of 2003, the WTO Ministerial Conference of 2005 and was banned from the 2006 World Bank-IMF Conference in Singapore.[3]

Politically, Bello began to turn away from the Communist Party of the Philippines after he heard that they allegedly killed individuals in the 1980s and 1990s that were accused of being double agents.[1] Bello later joined the Akbayan Citizens' Action Party and became a member of congress in 2010.[1] In March 2015, Bello resigned his position in congress due to conflicts with President Benigno Aquino III that surrounded the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the Mamasapano incident. He ran for senator in 2016 but lost.[4]

He currently sits on the board of directors of the International Forum on Globalization[5] and on the board of directors of the leftist think-tank Center for Economic and Policy Research.[6] He is also a member of the regional Greenpeace.[3]

Political positions

Socialist Worker described Bello as "one of the most articulate and prolific voices on the international left" and that "he has devoted most of his life to fighting imperialism and corporate globalization".[7] Bello was also a supporter of Hugo Chávez and was impressed by his opposition to the United States, stating after Chávez's death that he was "a class act, one impossible to follow. Wherever you are right now, give ’em hell".[8]


In 2003, Bello was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, whose website describes him as "one of the leading critics of the current model of economic globalization, combining the roles of intellectual and activist." Bello is also a fellow of the Transnational Institute (based in Amsterdam), and is a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus. In March 2008 he was named Outstanding Public Scholar for 2008 by the International Studies Association.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Ramos Shahani, Lila (26 May 2015). "The Kentex Fire: A Conversation with Walden Bello". philstar.com. The Philippine Star. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  2. "Professor, 2 others nabbed (2:29 p.m.)". Sun.Star. February 24, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-27.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "About Walden". Walden Bello. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  4. Aceron, Joy; Isaac, Francis (14 March 2015). "That thing called resignation". Rappler. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  5. http://www.ifg.org/about/bod.htm
  6. "Board of Directors". Center for Economic and Policy Research. March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  7. "Why Walden Bello needs your support". socialistworker.org. Socialist Worker. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  8. Bello, Walden (7 March 2013). "I'll miss Hugo". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
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