September 28, 2010
Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As P-Noy’s US Tour Ends, Melissa Roxas Joins US Tour of Dukot
As the US tour of new Philippine President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino concludes, another Filipino, Melissa Roxas will be embarking on her own tour as she travels with the Filipino film ‘Dukot’ across the country. In 2009, Roxas– a poet, writer, and community healthworker from Los Angeles– filed charges against the Philippine military under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her forced abduction and subsequent 6-day captivity wherein she was blindfolded and tortured. At the time of her abduction, Roxas had been volunteering for a medical mission in a rural community in La Paz, Tarlac.
BAYAN USA, the national Filipino-American alliance, is among the sponsors of the US tour of ‘Dukot’, along with GMA Pinoy TV. The film squarely addresses human rights abuses committed by Philippine state security forces. ‘Dukot’ was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Joel Lamangan and penned by esteemed Philippine playwright Bonifacio Ilagan, both of whom are former political prisoners that suffered torture under the Marcos dictatorship. Roxas, a US citizen, is also a member of BAYAN USA.
Roxas is joining the tour to share updates on her campaign for justice. She will also reflect on the state of human rights in the Philippines from her point of view as a survivor of torture.
“I am joining the tour of this powerful film to help raise awareness about what is happening in the Philippines, because the current human rights crisis in the country is being covered up by those who are in power and are responsible for it,” Roxas stated. “I speak not just for myself, but for the thousands of victims and their families who are seeking to have this crisis exposed to the international community because the Philippine government has not sought justice for them.”
DUKOT screening in Glendale, CA
Last week, P-Noy made headlines by signing off on a US foreign aid package worth $434-million through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Human rights advocates both in the Philippines and the US are concerned that the amount will be used to beef up the country’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), which many have identified as the culprit of the systemic human rights abuses in the country.
“Unfortunately, P-Noy’s commitment to resolving the problem of ongoing killings, abduction, and torture of civilians in the country is to extend the very policy that is responsible for it– OBL,” states BAYAN USA Vice-Chairperson Kuusela Hilo.
In addition to the charges filed in the Philippines, Roxas also filed official complaints with the United Nations and US State Department.
After well-attended screenings last week in Los Angeles and San Diego, the US tour of ‘Dukot’ is scheduled to move to the San Francisco/Bay Area next week. It will continue on through October to Seattle, Chicago, New York, Hoboken, and Washington DC.
For more information on the tour, visit www.dukot.com. ###