Contact: Berna Ellorin
Secretary-General, BAYAN USA
Nationwide, US–Filipino Americans and other US allies will launch anti-Arroyo RAT “Rapid Action Team” actions during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s highly-anticipated 10-day visit to the US. “The US-Arroyo administration is a garbage regime, and our RATs are infuriated by its actions. The US-Arroyo administration is the Bubonic plague of the Filipino people, and we must rid ourselves of this pestilence. Our families in the Philippines are suffering because of this US-Arroyo administration that is rotten to the core,” said Chito Quijano, Chairperson of BAYAN USA. BAYAN USA first launched RAT actions against Arroyo during her 2005 visit to the United Nations in New York.
Arroyo has several meetings in Washington DC, including a White House session with Bush and his cronies. Coordinated actions in D.C., New York City and throughout the west coast are being organized by the US Chapter of BAYAN (BAYAN USA) and its U.S.-based allies.
“The pinnacle of Arroyo’s US visit will be her meeting at the White House with Bush and members of his Cabinet on June 24th, where she will further undermine Philippine sovereignty in exchange for US military-backing,” said Quijano. US military presence in the Philippines will be a key agenda in the Bush-Arroyo meeting not just because of the “War on Terror,” but also because of US economic interests in the region.
This past February, US military were involved in the massacre of innocent civilians in Sulu. Just recently the US oil company, Exxon-Mobil, announced that it would be doing oil exploration off Sulu.
Quijano also stated, “Arroyo’s appalling record of human rights violations continues to worsen as people are still being extra-judicially killed or disappeared and Arroyo’s death squads and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are still the main suspects at large.” Based on data from Karapatan, there have been a total of 903 extrajudicial killings and 193 enforced disappearances since Arroyo came to power in 2001. “This White House meeting between Bush, the world’s number-one war criminal, and his number-one puppet, Arroyo, can lead only to plans of more human rights violations and attacks on civil liberties and democracy,” concluded Quijano.
BAYAN USA also warns the Millennium Challenge Corporation and US Congress against awarding multi-million dollar grants that will pass through the hands of the Arroyo clique, the Philippines’ most notorious embezzlers. “Earlier this year, thousands upon thousands of Filipinos rallied in the streets demanding GMA’s resignation after key witness, Jun Lozada, exposed the large-scale corruption of the NBN-ZTE deal. It would be imprudent and reckless of Congress and the MCC to entrust millions of dollars to an administration exposed for its barefaced corruption and scandal,” stated Quijano. BAYAN USA demands the withdrawal of the Philippines MCC “compact eligible” status.
“Arroyo has flagrantly failed the Filipino people in order to expand her own personal wealth, and aid the on-going US economic and military intervention in the Philippines. We are one with the Filipino people’s demand to oust Gloria,” emphasized Quijano.