Category: BAYAN USA

Fil-Ams commemorate People Power by calling for a “new brand” of People Power: GMA Watch and BAYAN USA calls for increased action in the US against Arroyo

Contact:
Rob McCauley
GMA WATCH
(206) 383-7209
rob.mccauley@teamsters763.org

Jeff Rice
BAYAN USA National Officer
(206) 291-8078
edjop82@gmail.com

Joanne Alcantara
GABRIELA-USA
(206) 427-2994
gabrielawomen@gmail.com

The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, will join its mother alliance’s call for commemorative week long actions surrounding the anniversary of People Power 1. On Monday February 25th, the umbrella group BAYAN Philippines will be joining a broader call of church leaders, civil libertarians, and business leaders for the immediate resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, following a high-end dialogue of various Philippine sectors in the Makati Business Club last Tuesday.

The Arroyo clan has recently been exposed of high dealings in graft and corruption as ZTE-NBN Broadband scandal star witness Rodolfo Noel Lozada testified last week to the Philippine Congress.

“We agree that Gloria will be facing a ‘new brand’ of people power, certainly one where more Filipino-Americans will take a stand, make more noise, and contribute to the anti-corruption, pro-democracy movement in the Philippines,” states BAYAN USA Finance Officer Jeff Rice. “We are calling on all patriotic Filipinos in the Seattle area who are concerned with the state of the Motherland to join together in this time of crisis.”

BAYAN Philippines Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. noted, “Perhaps the difference with people power today is that its seeds are emerging from various sectors of society despite there being no Cardinal Sin to call for it. People power is springing forth from the grassroots, the schools, factories, communities, businesses, with various political formations are coming together. It is spreading despite the limitations of the church hierarchy.”

“Now more than ever, we need to recall the lessons of people power and so we can come up with an improved version for our times. The new people power will not simply be led by any religious leader a la Cardinal Sin. Nor will it just seek to replace one regime with a worse one. We have certainly learned lessons from EDSA 1 and EDSA 2,” Reyes added.

The theme of the BAYAN protest actions will be People Power Pa Rin! (People Power Still!), a call that is growing popular even among overseas Filipinos in various countries. BAYAN USA has a considerable number of second and third generation Filipino members in the US who fully unite with the call and understand its relevance.

“Nothing is impossible. After 20 years of living under the iron fist of Marcos, the Filipino people made the so-called ‘impossible’ happen with People Power 1, and again with Estrada with People Power 2. These experiences prove that the Filipino people can make this new brand of People Power possible– one that will reject the corruption and moral bankruptcy of Trapo (traditional politician) politics, and one that will not allow another Trapo to simply replace Gloria. Even second-generation Fil-Ams can smell what is rotten about Arroyo from 30,000 miles away and know that the Philippine system needs to change,” states BAYAN USA Chair, Chito Quijano.

BAYAN USA hopes to mounts actions with allies and friends in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities in the US calling for the resignation or ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo next week. BAYAN USA also calls on all sympathetic forces in the United States to mount creative actions calling for the immediate removal of Arroyo.

In Seattle, a series of actions will take place calling for the ouster of the Philippine President. All events are sponsored by GMA Watch, Bayan USA and GABRIELA USA. The week of March 10th, Edith Burgos, mother of missing farmer and activist Jonas Burgos, will travel across the nation in a national speaking tour to raise the level of awareness on the ongoing forced disappearances of activists in the Philippines. She has presented her case to the United Nations Commission for Human Rights and has garnered the attention of the international community on the state of human rights abuses under the hands of the Philippine government.

THURSDAY, February 28, 8pm.

Nationwide Candlelight Vigil for Victims of the Arroyo Regime

University of Washington Red Square in front of Suzallo Library

FRIDAY, February 29.

5:30pm Rally at Komo News 4
6:30pm Vigil at Seattle Center Fountain

MONDAY, March 3rd, 6-8pm

Potluck Dinner and Community Teach In

Gran Oriente (117 – 15th Avenue South, Seattle)

SATURDAY, March 8th, 12noon.

International Women’s Day Rally to Oust GMA

Featuring First Quarter Storm

Jose Rizal Park (1008-12th Avenue South, Seattle)

TUESDAY, March 11, 6:30pm

Edith Burgos, mother of human rights victim

Speaking Event at Bethany UCC

6230 Beacon Avenue South

We call on all Filipino people, friends and allies to stand against a corrupt government and say “Enough is enough! People Power Pa Rin! We demand an accountable government in the Philippines! Oust Gloria Now!

Overseas Filipinos in the US register their voices against Arroyo

Contact: Berna Ellorin
Secretary-General, BAYAN USA
secgen@bayanusa.org

The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, has pledged to increase their actions this week calling for the resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the Philippine presidential seat in Malacanang. Numerous activities calling for an end to corruption are scheduled in the coming weeks, initiated by BAYAN USA member organizations.

This week marks the anniversary of People Power 1, which ousted the US-backed Marcos regime in 1986. Many are calling for a “new brand” of People Power to target Arroyo.

“This so-called ‘new brand’ of People Power will have a significant amount of amplified voices call for GMA’s removal from overseas Filipinos in the United States. We are the largest overseas Filipino community in the world and supply over 50% of the overall total amount of overseas remittances to the Philippine economy,” states BAYAN USA Chair Chito Quijano. “We are economically and politically empowered to make this justified call, as the Arroyo regime no longer has the moral ascendancy to continue.”

Scheduled activities initiated by BAYAN USA include the following:

Thursday, February 28, 2008 – Nationwide Candlelight Vigil – OUST GMA!

San Francisco, CA: 5pm in front of the SF Philippine Consulate

447 Sutter St. (cross is Powell)

SEATTLE, WA

8pm. University of Washington Red Square in front of Suzallo Library

NEW YORK, NY: *

5pm at Roosevelt Avenue and 69th Street in Woodside, NYC

*BAYAN USA will be joining NAFCON-led community vigil in the heart of the Filipino Community in NYC

LOS ANGELES, CA

5:30 PM

In front of SF Philippine Consulate

3600 Wilshire Blvd

FRIDAY, February 29, 2008

SEATTLE, WA

5:30pm Rally at Komo 4 News Station (140 4th Ave. N)

6:30pm Vigil at Seattle Center Fountain

www.bayanusa.org

Fil-Ams demand US troops out of Mindanao: Siting of US soldiers at massacre scene proves “Balikatan kills”

Contact: Berna Ellorin
Secretary-General, BAYAN USA
secgen@bayanusa.org

“The involvement of US troops in a fatal raid of a Sulu village, south of Mindanao, killing eight innocent bystanders, including two children and pregnant woman proves Balikatan kills,” states BAYAN USA Chair Chito Quijano in response to the testimony of Sandrawina Wahid, a villager who claims to have witnessed US troops storm her village with Philippine troops earlier this month.

The Filipino-American alliance of over 12 organizations in the US is joining the massive movement for the removal of US troops from the Philippines, and Mindanao in particular.

Wahid testified she witnessed at least four US soldiers join Philippine forces raid her barangay (village). Among the victims who did not survive the raid was her husband, Private First Class Ibnol Wahid, a soldier shot while on vacation with his family. Soldiers also burned down houses and harassed villagers.

“The US troops are in the Philippines under the context of the Balikatan joint military exercises in order to train and assist Philippine troops in defeating terrorism. They are prohibited under Philippine law to engage in direct combat,” Quijano stated. “This incident proves otherwise. We demand an immediate investigation by government authorities of US involvement in this tragedy.”

Amidst growing protests in Manila in response to the Arroyo family’s exposed graft and corruption, bigger protests have emerged in Mindanao against renewed US military presence in the region, the extension of the US-Philippine military agreement known as the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), and the return of the Balikatan joint military exercises, including major cities Cagayan de Oro and Davao.

“Balikatan literally means ‘shoulder to shoulder’, but people are dying because of it”, Quijano added. “The real terrorism the people need to defeat is state terrorism and political repression in the Philippines at the hands of Arroyo’s military and the US military.”

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in an effort to support the Global War on Terror, requested the Bush administration send US troops to Mindanao back in 2001 to defeat the Abu Sayyaf, a supposed Islamic fundamentalist group gone awry. Since the start of the Balikatan exercises after September 11th, no member of Abu Sayyaf has been apprehended. Many question of existence of the group and its relationship to the Philippine government.

“As tax season here in the US approaches, we are appealing urgently to US taxpayers to call on their government to withdraw US military aid to the Philippines. The last Appropriations Bill from the US Congress allotted $30 million in aid to the Philippines. This money is fueling state terrorism in our motherland,” Quijano ended.

Fil-Ams commemorate People Power by calling for a “new brand” of People Power: BAYAN USA calls for increased action in the US against Arroyo

Contact: Berna Ellorin
Secretary-General, BAYAN USA
secgen@bayanusa.org

The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, will join its mother alliance’s call for commemorative actions around the anniversary of People Power 1, Monday, February 25th. The umbrella group BAYAN Philippines will be joining a broader call of church leaders, civil libertarians, and business leaders for the immediate resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, following a high-end dialogue of various Philippine sectors in the Makati Business Club last Tuesday.

The Arroyo clan has recently been exposed of high dealings in graft and corruption as ZTE-NBN Broadband scandal star witness Rodolfo Noel Lozada testified last week to the Philippine Congress.

“We agree that Gloria will be facing a ‘new brand’ of people power, certainly one where more overseas Filipinos will take a stand, make more noise, and contribute to the anti-corruption, anti-dictatorship movement in the Philippines,” states BAYAN USA Chair Chito Quijano.

BAYAN Philippines Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. noted, “Perhaps the difference with people power today is that it’s seeds are emerging from various sectors of society despite there being no Cardinal Sin to call for it. People power is springing forth from the grassroots, the schools, factories, communities, businesses, with various political formations are coming together. It is spreading despite the limitations of the church hierarchy.”

“Now more than ever, we need to recall the lessons of people power and so we can come up with an improved version for our times. The new people power will not simply be led by any religious leader a la Cardinal Sin. Nor will it just seek to replace one regime with a worse one. We have certainly learned lessons from EDSA 1 and EDSA 2,” Reyes added.

The theme of the BAYAN protest actions will be People Power Pa Rin! (People Power Still!), a call that is growing popular even among overseas Filipinos in various countries. BAYAN USA has a considerable number of second and third generation Filipino members in the US who fully unite with the call and understand its relevance.

“Nothing is impossible. After 20 years of living under the iron fist of Marcos, the Filipino people made the so-called ‘impossible’ happen with People Power 1, and again with Estrada with People Power 2. These experiences prove that the Filipino people can make this new brand of People Power possible– one that will reject the corruption and moral bankruptcy of Trapo (traditional politician) politics, and one that will not allow another Trapo to simply replace Gloria. Even second-generation Fil-Ams can smell what is rotten about Arroyo from 30,000 miles away and know that the Philippine system needs to change,” Quijano ended.

BAYAN USA hopes to mounts actions with allies and friends in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities in the US calling for the resignation or ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo next week. BAYAN USA also calls on all sympathetic forces in the United States to mount creative actions calling for the immediate removal of Arroyo.