Category: BAYAN USA

With GMA’s desperate moves apparent, Fil-Ams launch US-wide protests for Arroyo’s Ouster

Various cause-oriented groups and Filipino organizations under banner of BAYAN-USA held quick reaction protests in four major US cities yesterday to condemn the Arroyo administration’s declaration of a so-called “state of national emergency” (Proclamation 1017) in the Philippines less than 24 hours after it was announced in a nationally-televised broadcast from Malacanang.

Filipinos and their allies in the US condemned the illegal maneuver as “unwarranted and desperate, pushing Arroyo’s strategic agenda of resurrecting a full-blown martial law to quell nationwide dissent towards her regime and retain her stolen presidential seat.”

Since then police and military raids have entered newspaper offices, such as the Daily Tribune, to prevent the media projection of broad opposition forces gaining considerable momentum from various fronts. Outspoken Anti-Arroyo legislators, such as Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran have been arrested, while others have been forced into hiding.

“Proclamation 1017 is an illegal act. It is the latest in Arroyo’s tone-setting of fictitious national conditions to justify martial rule. We condemn the rise of fascism under Arroyo. The massive street demonstrations that started with the commemoration of People Power 1 will only heighten from this point on. Arroyo’s gaining more and more opponents by the moment and it shows through her measures,” stated BAYAN-USA chair Kawal Ulanday.

In New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, broad multi-national solidarity groups joined BAYAN-USA and its member Filipino organizations Babae, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Critical Filipino/Filipina Studies Collective and Habi Arts in front of Philippine consulates everywhere.

Supporters that also joined the US-wide actions included the International Action Center, ANSWER Coalition, CAAAV:Organizing Asian Communities, Nodutol for Korean Community Development, Al-Awda, and many others.

“Filipino-Americans and the freedom-loving people of the US will not cease to intensify our actions calling for Gloria’s immediate ouster until such time she is removed from Malacanang. We look forward to launching more US-based support for People Power 3. We reiterate our call for a transition council to be established in Arroyo’s place to address the people’s urgent issues sincerely and move the country in a genuinely positive direction,” Ulanday ended.

References:
Kawal Ulanday, Chair, BAYAN-USA, email: chair@bayanusa.org
Berna Ellorin, Media Officer, BAYAN-USA, email: ny@bayanusa.org

Never again to martial law! Resist GMA’s emergency powers with people power! Oust Gloria now!

BAYAN-USA Urgent Actions in the U.S. today!

NEW YORK (ny@bayanusa.org)
Join Filipino New Yorkers in condemning the fascist Arroyo regime!
5 pm – Friday February 24, 2006
Philippine Consulate in NY

LOS ANGELES (socal@bayanusa.org)
Condemn State of Emergency and Oust GMA
12 pm Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles

SAN FRANCISCO (norcal@bayanusa.org)
Oust GMA Rally and march to Philippine Consulate
4 pm Assemble Powell and Market in downtown San Francisco
March up Powell to Consulate on Sutter

BAYAN (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) USA Chapter declares overall failure and disgrace of the Arroyo government as the Real State of National Emergency that cannot stop third People Power ouster!

From across the ocean and within the borders of the U.S., BAYAN-USA proudly stands with thousands of Filipinos in the streets of Ayala and EDSA yesterday on the 20th Anniversary of the first People Power ouster of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos. We condemn in fullest terms Gloria Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017 of a National State of Emergency that is short of declaring martial law and the first step towards authorizing warrantless arrests, media takeover, dispersal of people’s assemblies and systematic suppression of the Filipino people’s right to participate in collective actions that go against Arroyo’s wish to stay in power.

The Filipino people know that the real State of National Emergency started when GMA took office from the ousted Joseph Estrada in 2001. This latest crisis development reveals more than she can hide about her crisis-ridden and crumbling administration. GMA’s desperate measures come after a preventable mudslide which killed more than 1500 in Leyte last week. She is responsible for Human Rights Violations worse than the declared years of Martial Law under Marcos. She has orchestrated a full- blown economic crisis burying the country in billions of dollars of foreign debt. Worst of all, she continues to cling to power, holding on to a presidency discredited with election fraud while escaping democratic impeachment.

Since she assumed the presidency, BAYAN-USA has participated in international actions called by the growing People Power 3 movement in the Philippines. Yesterday’s People Power anniversary and OUST actions are the result of escalating outrage from under poverty level wages, joblessness, homelessness, high gas prices, the burden of value added taxes on basic commodities and the failure to bring justice for the gang rape of a Filipina woman by U.S Marines. There is nothing spontaneous or surprising from the people’s louder voices of dissent which represent a courageous anti-fascist stand. We recognize the most powerful way to honor the People Power Anniversary is to continue the struggle against fascism in the brutal form of the Bush loyal GMA regime.

There will be no denying People Power 3! Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR), state sponsored terrorism and political killings in the Philippines, undeclared martial law and even arms and training by U.S. troops in the Philippines will never quell the people’s resistance and will for national liberation and democracy and a just and lasting peace. We call on the U.S. and governments around the world to withdraw support to the Arroyo government which proved to be best in stealing, lying and cheating rather than governing the nation towards genuine progress and democracy.

OUST THE BRUTAL, FASCIST ARROYO REGIME!
ARROYO IS THE REAL STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY IN THE PHILIPPINES!
ESTABLISH THE TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL NOW!
NO U.S. TAX DOLLARS TO FUND UNDECLARED MARTIAL LAW AND POLITICAL REPRESSION!
PEOPLE POWER 3 LIVES!

Record-breaking Remittances from the US to Philippines in 2005 is Nothing to Be Proud Of: Arroyo’s Fiscal Crisis to Blame

Filipinos across the United States are expressing “record-breaking alarm rather than record-breaking pride” over Philippine Ambassador Albert Del Rosario’s recent congratulatory remarks for an over 33.2 percent increase in annual remittances from Filipinos in the United States over the past year alone. This totals to an unprecedented $5.3 billion in US remittances to the Philippines in 2005.

Del Rosario further gushed that “less than 30 percent of an estimated 8.1 million Filipinos overseas, or specifically the estimated 2.5 million Filipinos in the United States, have generated 60 percent of the total worldwide remittances.”

BAYAN USA Chair Kawal Ulanday stated “the high dependency over foreign remittances generated from working overseas Filipinos to stabilize the dilapidated economy Arroyo has created is nothing to be proud of. We are shouldering the burden of being the band-aid for a national economy pillaged by government corruption, foreign debt, and neo-liberal economic policies.”

BAYAN USA countered Del Rosario’s remarks that the appreciated peso has increased consumption, which is driving economic growth.

“That is a lie, a picture the Arroyo administration is painting to depict false economic progress to her corrupt administration’s credit,” asserted the alliance.

Genuine economic progress should actually entail a decrease in overseas remittance dependency.

“The peso appreciation is not to the credit of a stronger economy. It is the result of a surplus of dollars flowing in to the country against a 4.84% noticeable decrease in consumer demand. Plainly speaking, overseas Filipinos are hustling to send back the dollars because Filipinos are still not earning enough on their own and still can’t afford the basics to survive,” Ulanday explained.

The alliance also pointed out that over 90% of government revenues from 2005 went to foreign debt servicing rather than to social services their dependents could actually avail of.

Meanwhile, Arroyo is falsely touting her austerity measures and tax hikes on the poor such as the Value Added Tax (VAT) as the responsible components of her economic solution.

And what are the real consequences of the drive to send money home? “Filipinos in the US are pushing their physical limits– juggling multiple jobs, working extra-long hours, separating from their families back home or neglecting their families who are here, risking their health– just to make ends meet for their dependents and for themselves,” Ulanday continued.

Ulanday equivocated Del Rosario’s praise of overseas remittances to “a basic admission of the economy’s fundamental failure.”

“This is a driving reason why Arroyo is bad for the Filipino people, and must go,” Ulanday ended.

Maravillosa Was Not the First and Certainly Won’t Be the Last Fil-Am Youth to Suffer Untimely Death for the Sake of an Unjust War; Bring Troops Home Now

Saddened by the recent death of a Fil-Am soldier in Iraq, the national alliance of Filipino organizations in the US known as BAYAN USA said the best way to prevent the untimely deaths of more Fil-Am soldiers like that of US Army Sargent Myla Maravillosa, whose body was flown back to her hometown of Inabanga, Philippines last week for burial, was to withdraw the US troops in Iraq all together. The alliance continues to actively call for the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq and in the Philippines.

Maravillosa was supposedly only the second Fil-Am soldier to perish in Iraq.

BAYAN USA chair Kawal Ulanday, a Fil-Am himself who grew up in a military family, noted that mainstream media rarely exposes the true death rate of American soldiers in Iraq and other US wars of aggression. “Myla is certainly not the first and will not be the last to die for this false notion of anti-terrorism. She, like all the men and women of our US armed forces, are victims of a US-led imperialist agenda that oppresses within its borders just as it aggressively wages oppression through war abroad.

Ulanday criticized the US military machinery for “preying on the hopes and dreams of low-income, people of color, working communities in the US. They target military recruitment from the poorest sectors in our nation’s cities and suburbs. They lure in the desperate youth with promises of a steady paycheck and education. And because the economy is so elitist and worsening for the majority of Americans, our young Fil-Am men and women take in the bait.”

“We honor and respect the lives of our young fallen brothers and sisters who died with the genuine intention to fight for democracy and freedom. Had their lives not ended under the flag of an unjust war and the leadership of a profiteering US government, they could have continued with these intentions and made major contributions for the good of their communities. But now we will never know who they could have become,” Ulanday ended.

BAYAN USA and its youth organizations League of Filipinos Students and Anakbayan committed to an increase in counter-recruitment education amongst our youth communities across the nation.

They also condemned the “shameless, all-out puppetry of the Arroyo regime to the dictates of the so-called US war on terror”, which is scheduled to deploy 5,000 more US troops to the Philippines under the auspices of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) by February.