Friday, March 05, 2010

We Demand Jobs and Education, Not War and Occupation

We Demand Jobs and Education, Not War and Occupation

Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey stand in solidarity with the students, youth and workers who are speaking out and standing up today against the systemic attacks on public education. It is high time for the rest of the society to take a stand against the systemic attack on the people’s needs in favor of the interests of the few and create a society wherein the people’s needs are prioritized above all.

State’s all-out attack on Education

Both state governments, from New Jersey’s Gov. Christie to New York’s Gov. Paterson, are all out in their attacks on social services, particularly, on the education sector.

In New Jersey, the operating budgets of the nine state colleges and universities have been cut five times and they now receive about the same amount of dollars they received 10 years ago. Despite the overwhelming number of student enrollment in 2008-2009, the current state government has even announced a freeze on state spending, signaling more lay-offs, more furlough days and tuition fee increases for the public sector.

In New York, over 19 public schools from K-12 are going to be shut down and a round of new tuition fee increases in the City University of New York (CUNY) and the State University of New York (SUNY) are being hashed out. In the Fall of 2009, due to a budget cuts and a huge budget deficit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced that they’ll stop giving out student metro cards that’ll be another burden passed on working class students.

Budget cuts are an assault against working-class and immigrant communities

We are outraged that the burden of the so-called budget crisis that this country is experiencing is being put on the backs of immigrants and working class people while the government shelled out roughly $1.5 Trillion dollars for the endless war in Iraq and Afghanistan and $700 Billion to bail out banks and financial institutions, which in the first place are responsible for the current crisis; the crisis of the capitalist system.

With the education out of reach to most immigrant and working-class youth and students, this leaves them no choice but to join the army as their only way to get education, who, by the way, is the only sector that did not experience any cuts on budget allocations. This is no different than a military draft but solely for the immigrant and working-class youth, forcing them to fight the unjust wars of the rich.

With 4 million Filipinos in the United States, 51% of which belong to the youth sector, it is inevitable that our youth will be one of the worst hit by this crisis.

International struggle for right to education

All around the world, students and workers are decrying state abandonment of education. In Germany, Austria and Scandanavian countries and movements throughout the Asia Pacific especially Indonesia, India and Korea, students are demanding access to quality education. In the Philippines, students are calling out the myth of “liberal education” rooted in American direct colonialism up to the current Arroyo regime, as an ensuing and escalating crisis in education that is colonial, commercialized and fascist in nature.

We join the youth and students from New York to New Jersey and all over the US on this national day of action in demanding full funding for public education and not for imperialist wars of aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and in other countless military bases in Israel, South Korea and the Philippines.

From the U.S. to the Philippines and all around the world, we have no option but to join in solidarity to defend our education and demand an end to imperialist attacks on our youth, our workers, our families!

We demand a fully funded and quality education system.

We demand good quality jobs for workers and teachers.

We demand to put priority in youth and students and not in big banks, prison and War.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

450 Relief Boxes from U.S. East Coast: SENT!

27 January 2010

REFERENCE: Jonna Baldres, Migrante International Coordinator for US East Coast,, (718)5658862

450 Relief Boxes from U.S. East Coast: SENT!
NAFCON/SanDiwa’s Bayanihan for Disaster Relief Campaign Continues

NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY – On January 19, just as news were received that the relief boxes from the US West Coast arrived on the doorstep of Migrante International in the Philippines, US East Coast — New York and New Jersey chapters of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and its youth arm, Sandiwa National Alliance of Filipino-American Youth — sent off some 450 relief boxes to be shipped to the Philippines on the same day!

“After nearly four months of struggling, and eventually, claiming victories, against the restrictions and repressive policies of the Philippine government on relief donations, NAFCON has once again proven that with collective action, the Filipino community will triumph,” said Nicholas Cordero of Philippine Forum-New Jersey, a member organization of NAFCON in the East Coast.

In September 2009, upon learning that typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines, NAFCON and SanDiwa immediately gathered to launch its Bayanihan for Typhoon Ondoy Disaster Relief Campaign nationwide. Migrante International was identified to become the recipient of NAFCON and SanDiwa’s continued relief efforts, as it has proven to genuinely address the issues of Filipino migrants and, more importantly, their families in the Philippines. With the banding together of the whole Filipino community and friends from all over the United States, fundraising activities and collection of donations began right away, gathering about $15,000 in monetary relief, and more than 500 relief boxes in the East Coast — including food, clothes, medicines, blankets and other material donations.

“Three more typhoons hit the Philippines since Ondoy and the Mayon volcano just erupted in December. In light of all these calamities, the Bayanihan for Disaster Relief Campaign continues as long as the relief has not reached disaster victims, and we, the youth from SanDiwa, together with our mother alliance, NAFCON, will keep close watch and make sure that these donations will not go to corrupted hands,” said Anne Beryl Corotan, SanDiwa chairperson based in New York.

In the course of the relief campaign, NAFCON, SanDiwa and their member organizations all over the US have also led in fighting for the lifting of the ban on used clothing and dropping of taxes on relief by the Philippine government, and lastly, for Migrante International to receive and distribute the donations to affected communities. The campaign did not only focus on collection of donations and creatively fundraising for shipping but also took up the responsibility of challenging the policies of the Philippine government and exposing its inefficiency that caused the loss and displacement of thousands of its people in these tragedies. Community meetings and actions were also held to educate, gather and express the sentiments of the members of the community.

“As long as natural and man-made disasters keep coming to our beloved country and the Philippine government does not take steps to address these, and instead, imposes unreasonable policies preventing our overseas kababayans from sending help to our loved ones back home, we will continue to fight,” said Yves Nibungco, chairperson of the youth group Anakbayan New York/New Jersey and member organization of SanDiwa.

Out of the 530+ relief boxes, ninety-five more were left (New York and New Jersey combined) as the container could not fit any more boxes. NAFCON East Coast will be calling for a community forum within the next few days for the community to decide on what to do with the rest of the boxes. The boxes sent are expected to arrive in Manila by mid to end of February.

On March 7, a victory celebration for the relief campaign will be held as the Filipino community in New York also celebrates the second anniversary of the Bayanihan Filipino Community Center in Queens. Member organizations, volunteers and everyone who helped in the relief efforts are all invited to join in the celebration of the Filipino’s insurmountable strength, resilience and collective action amidst great battle and tragedy, leading to successes of the whole community.

For more information and for continuous coverage of the Bayanihan for Disaster Relief Campaign, please visit



More photos from this link:

IMG_1971.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

Storage in New York being emptied of ‘Bayanihan for Disaster Relief’ boxes

IMG_1997.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

Loading ‘Bayanihan for Disaster Relief’ boxes into the container truck from New York storage

IMG_2002.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

Volunteers done loading 230+ New York
‘Bayanihan for Disaster Relief’ boxes!

IMG_2008.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

New Jersey ‘Bayanihan for Disaster Relief’ boxes lined up for loading

IMG_2060.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

Volunteers load New Jersey ‘Bayanihan for Disaster Relief’
boxes into container truck

IMG_2062.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

Volunteers practice true “Bayanihan” spirit
as they load relief boxes into container truck

IMG_2066.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

Around 450 ‘Bayanihan for Disaster Relief’ boxes sent off to the Philippines!

IMG_2069.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

Container truck on the way to ship ‘Bayanihan for Disaster Relief’ boxes to the Philippines!

IMG_1970.jpg picture by jonnabaldres

Packing list ready as early as December 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

U.S. and Philippine Governments Declared Culpable for Maguindanao Massacre

U.S. and Philippine Governments Declared Culpable for Maguindanao Massacre

BAYAN-USA Honors Victims by Launching Week of Action for Human Rights and Mobilization for the International Observers Mission to the 2010 Philippine Elections

“Bystanders who witness a crime and do nothing are guilty of allowing the perpetrator to strike his next victim. BAYAN-USA is giving people in the U.S. the opportunity to take action to prevent the continued loss of life in the Philippines at the hands of the military, police and paramilitary thugs. The best way to honor and obtain justice for the victims is by taking action,” said Berna Ellorin, Chair of BAYAN-USA as the alliance of 14 Filipino organizations in the U.S. launched a week of action in response to the Maguindanao Massacre and announced plans to mobilize for the International Observers Mission to the 2010 Philippine Elections. Actions will commence today in New York and Los Angeles and continue through International Human Rights Day on December 10.

On November 23, 2009 at least 64 people were massacred in Ampatuan, Maguindanao in one of the most open and vicious election-related acts of violence in Philippine history. Among the victims were women, two human rights lawyers, and 31 journalists. It was the single deadliest attack on journalists on record.

"BAYAN-USA condemns this heinous, calculated crime which everyone knows was executed by the private army of the Ampatuan family, a ruling clan with close, long-standing ties to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in conjunction with members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army,” said Ellorin. “The perpetrators had no doubt that they would get away scott-free, just as the PNP, Armed Forces, and paramilitary outfits who have committed thousands of human rights violations against innocent civilians over the past 8-1/2 years under Arroyo have escaped conviction—or even been rewarded for their performance like General-cum-Congressman Jovito Palparan. It is because Macapagal-Arroyo has actually directed these human rights violations as standard procedure of her counter-insurgency Operation Plan Bantay Laya 2--with the funding provided by U.S. military aid, ‘advice’ provided by U.S. military advisors, and justification provided by the U.S. ‘war on terror.’”

“We are launching this week of action and announcing plans to mobilize for the International Observers Mission for the 2010 Elections not only because we know that Macapagal-Arroyo regime will never seriously investigate the Maguindanao Massacre or any of the human rights violations sure to come as the 2010 elections approach. We are taking action because we need to hold the U.S. government accountable for every single killing, abduction, torture, and that they have funded with the millions in U.S. tax dollars they have granted to Macapagal-Arroyo’s mercenaries, which have served the interests of U.S. imperialism. The ammunition used by the perpetrators of the Maguindanao Massacre came from the AFP, care of U.S. military aid,” stated Ellorin. BAYAN-USA pointed out that despite his rhetoric of “change,” the Obama administration has clung to a century-old policy toward the Philippines. “Since it first colonized the Philippines over 100 years ago, the U.S. has sought to control the country’s vast human and material resources through both political means and by brute force, and to use the Philippines as a geopolitical foothold to expand and maintain its economic, political and military interests in Southeast Asia. Under the leadership of Presidents Roosevelt, Johnson, Bush 1 or 2, or Clinton, the U.S. government’s guiding principles were always imperialist control of the Philippines and expansion throughout the Southeast Asian region,” said Ellorin

Within weeks of taking the oath of office, Obama began giving direct support to the Macapagal-Arroyo regime. In February, Obama called Arroyo to state his commitment to the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Balikatan exercises. In July, Obama again affirmed U.S. commitment to the VFA during Arroyo’s state visit to Washington DC. In August Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that the U.S. has been keeping a 600-strong Joint Special Operations Task Force in the Philippines since 1999 and that the U.S. intends to maintain the forces there indefinitely. And in November, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Philippines and dodged questions about the VFA and the abduction and torture of American citizen Melissa Roxas.

Moreover, there are reports that the State Department may actually release the $2 Million in military aid to the Philippines that Congress ordered to be withheld from the total U.S. military aid package to the Philippines in 2010, pending improvements in the nation’s human rights record and the Arroyo government’s compliance with the human rights recommendations made by U.N. Special Rapporteur Philip Allston. “If the U.S. releases the $2 Million that is supposed to be restricted—not to mention provide possibly even more aid next year—it would be like lighting the fuse on a pile of dynamite,” stated Ellorin. “The Maguindanao Massacre is proof that human rights violations continue to rage throughout the Philippines. There is no justification for granting more aid to Macapagal-Arroyo’s murderous regime.”

To add insult to injury, Macapagal-Arroyo has declared her intent to run for a seat in Congress next year--the Representative of the second district of Pampanga, which could be a stepping stone for her to vie for Prime Minister in the future if Charter Change is enacted. “Declaring her candidacy in the midst of the Maguindanao Massacre insults the victims of this latest tragedy. While Macapagal-Arroyo likes to tout her public service record, the best way for her to serve the people would be to stay out of government altogether,” said Ellorin.

Starting today, BAYAN-USA member organizations are conducting actions across the country to mobilize the 4 million-strong Filipino community and all people in the U.S. who believe in human rights to condemn Macapagal-Arroyo’s role in instigating the Maguindanao Massacre, demand a swift and impartial investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators, and demand accountability from the Obama administration for perpetuating the human rights crisis. BAYAN-USA also launches a recruitment drive to bring journalists, lawyers, faith leaders, photographers, educators, artists, and other concerned Americans to serve as delegates on the International Observers Mission, an effort of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines, KARAPATAN and other organizations to promote fair, peaceful and democratic national elections in a country plagued by fraudulent and violent elections.

Justice for the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre! Justice for All Victims of State-Sponsored Repression in the Philippines!

Investigate, arrest, and prosecute the perpetrators of the Maguindanao Massacre!

No U.S. Tax Dollars for State-Sponsored Massacres, Abduction, Torture and Killings in the Philippines!

Disband all paramilitary units and the private armies of warlords and politicians! Stop the Operation Plan Bantay Laya 2!

End Arroyo’s Reign of Terror! Ban Arroyo from All Government Offices!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

“Learn from the masses, Serve the People!” Says Jersey City Youth Group

Jersey City-“Learn from the masses. Serve the People!” That is the resounding call of the Filipino youth group called Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey as they celebrate their 5th founding anniversary on Sunday at Sinugba, a Filipino-owned restaurant in Jersey City. This event was themed “Aklasan: Rediscovering the Roots of Our Generation’s Revolution” in honor and celebration of Anakbayan-Philippines’ 11 years of service to the people, Kabataang Makabayan’s 45th Founding Anniversary and the Philippine Hero, Gat Andres Bonifacio’s 146thbirthday.

As a new generation of Filipino activists, it is our obligation to go back to our roots and learn, connect and uphold the valuable lessons and principles held by those who came before us in order for our generation to continue the unfinished struggle of our people for self-determination and genuine democracy in the Philippines” said Yves Nibungco, newly elected Chairperson of Anakbayan NY/NJ. “It is very timely and advisable to all the youth, whether immigrant or US-born to know, learn and draw lessons from the Katipunan and Kabataang Makabayan as we continue to face the same issues of foreign domination, feudal exploitation and government corruption.” Mr. Nibungco added.

According to Anakbayan, they continue to struggle for these issues because the Philippines remain a vassal country, dominated by foreign interests and ruled by a minority of landowners and big businesses while the vast majority basks in poverty. They also said that this is the main reason why almost 4000 Filipinos leave the country every day.

The celebration was youthful, intense and meaningful as friends and allies came to share the special day and to show support for the Filipino youth group. The celebration was started by a slideshow of one-year’s worth of Anakbayan’s activities and struggles. It was followed by fiery and heart-warming speeches of solidarity and appreciation from allied organizations and supporters.

One of the attendees was Kalusugan Coalition’s Project AsPIRE Director, Ms. Rhodora Ursua. In her solidarity message, she said, “on behalf of Kalusugan Coalition, we just appreciate how much AB [Anakbayan] has been such a great partner for the work that we do in trying to serve the health needs of Filipinos here in Jersey City, NJ and in Queens, NY. Anakbayan always comes out in full force, volunteering and helping out during Project AsPIRE’s health fairs.”

At the event, newly elected officers of Anakbayan NY/NJ were presented and were followed by a public oath taking, symbolizing their commitment to serving the community. The event was concluded with the breaking of a piñata/Arroyo effigy and a cultural show wherein local Filipino artists played. Artists who supported the event were Bayanihan Kultural Kolektib (BKK), Kadena, Donny Manuel, Taospuso and John-Flor Sisante.

About 70 other supporters filled Sinugba restaurant where the said youth group usually hold its events. Allied organizations in attendance include New York Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), Kalusugan Coalition, American Pin@y Organization of the Youth (APOY), Philippine Forum New York and New Jersey, Pan-American Concerned Citizens Action League (PACCAL), Garden State Alliance for a New Economy (GAIN), SEIU 1199, Omni Health Workers, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), Sandiwa National Alliance of Filipino-American Youth, Gabriela-USA and Bagong Alyansang Makabayang-USA (BAYAN-USA). Volunteers from Bayanihan for Typhoon Ondoy Relief Drive also attended the event.

“We are so inspired and humbled at the same time by the community’s support. Now, we are even more ready to raise the level our struggle against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's tyranny. We vow to resist and prevent another dictatorship masquerading as Arroyo's congressional bid in Pampanga.” Ms. Kathleen Dy, Anakbayan’s new Secretary General, concluded while referring to rumors of Arroyo ruling the Philippines forever by running for Congres and Charter Change. ###

Photos by Felipe Asuncion

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jersey Artists, Youth, Students Unite for Typhoon Victims

Jersey Artists, Youth, Students Unite for Typhoon Victims

Jersey City- Filipino youth and student groups, in collaboration with local Filipino artists and musicians, held a benefit concert called The Aftermathlast Friday, November 6, 2009, at the Our Lady of Victories School. The said event was able to successfully raise $2000 for the typhoon victims in the Philippines which will be sent to Tulong Kabataan, a youth-led relief and rehabilitation campaign organized by Kabataan Partylist, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students (LFS), Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP), National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP) and College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP).

The benefit concert was spearheaded by American Pin@y Organization of the Youth (APOY-HCCC), a fresh and energetic Filipino youth organization at Hudson County Community College. A number of young Filipino bands, artists, musicians and dancers contributed their time and talent to the said benefit event. Kapsula, Higher Ground, Salamanka, Second Verse, Paper June, Inspired, Nothing But Knowledge (NBK), Gessica Pecana, Donny Manuel and Taospuso lit the night with their meaningful performances as hundreds of youth attended the event.

“We chose The Aftermath as the name of our event because what matters most is what you do after the benefit concert. We, from APOY-HCCC, hopes that the aftermath of this event, when you go back to your homes, to your community and to your schools, will be a more concerned, aware and involved Filipino youth not just in disaster reliefs but also with the issues that bear down on our people here in the United States and back home in the Philippines,” said Yves Nibungco, the current Chairperson of APOY-HCCC as he concluded the event with a speech.

Youth “Involvement” and “Patriotism”

After the event, two themes stood out: youth involvement and patriotism. The young Filipino student group aims to encourage more Filipino youth and students to come out and get involved in their community, particularly regarding issues that really affect them. By responding to the current “humanitarian crisis” in the Philippines brought about by the typhoon, APOY-HCCC is hoping that this will send a clear message to other Filipino student groups to become more active in linking up and acting on issues concerning kababayans here and back home.

The Filipino youth and students are powerful forces of change that is slowly awakening to the necessity of their involvement, not just through the relief efforts, but also in actively involving themselves in the shaping of our society,” said Kathleen Dy, a member of Anakbayan NY/NJ, a local progressive Filipino youth group. “The Filipino youth and students have a rich history of social involvement and activisim to draw lessons from, coming from the Katipunan to the Kabataang Makabayan and up to the present.” Ms. Dy added.

“This benefit concert is just the start of a growing Filipino youth and student movement here in Jersey City. We, together with other Filipino youth and student organizations, vow to spark and spread the flame of patriotism among our fellow Filipino youth and students,” Yves Nibungco, Chairperson of APOY-HCCC concluded.

American-Pin@y Organization of the Youth is a new Filipino student organization at Hudson County Community College. It aims to raise cultural and historical awareness among the Filipino youth. It also aims to involve the Filipino youth and students in helping the Filipino community. For more information about APOY-HCCC, email them


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Jersey Youth, Students Proclaim "Tuloy ang Laban" for Typhoon Victims

Jersey Youth, Students Proclaim "Tuloy ang Laban" for Typhoon Victims

Jersey City- Filipino youth of Jersey City won't give up on their kababayans affected by the series of typhoons that hit the Philippines last month. With the theme: "Kapag Sama-sama, kayang kaya! Tuloy ang Laban!", American-Pinoy Organization of the Youth of Hudson County Community College (APOY-HCCC), in collaboration with other Filipino youth and student organizations, will be having "The Aftermath: A Benefit Concert for the Victims of Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng" on November 6. The said event is to take place at 240 Ege Ave. Jersey City at the Our Lady of Victories School, from 7pm to 12 midnight.

Late September, a series of devastating typhoons hit the Philippines delivering a record amount of rainfall and destruction never before seen in decades. Over a million people have been affected by typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, Quedan and Ramil, particularly the poor peasants, farm workers, and urban poor. Hundreds of thousands are still in limbo at covered courts and gymnasiums-turned-evacuation centers as disease outbreaks loom ahead.

"The Aftermath" is a benefit concert to raise funds for the relief and rehabilitation of typhoon victims in the Philippines. The event is also aimed at getting the youth more involved in the Filipino community. It will showcase a variety of young local Filipino talents from bands to dancers. Some of the performers will be Kapsula, Paper June, Shaka, Inspired and Taospuso. All proceeds will go to "Tulong Kabataan", (Youth Help) a relief and rehabilitation campaign led by a coalition of different youth and student organization such as Kabataan Partylist, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, National Union of Students in the Philippines and College Editor's Guild of the Philippines.

"The Filipino youth and students must now open their eyes to the issues that affect our motherland, unite and get involved in the relief efforts and other efforts in the community" said Marlon Velasco, a member of APOY, a Filipino student organization at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City. "As students, we must also learn in the community. We can learn by helping and dedicating our time in serving our community. Organizing or coming to a benefit concert for our kababayans that were devastated by the typhoons is one way of getting involved." Mr. Velasco added.

The organizers of the said event are expecting hundreds of Filipino youth to attend the benefit concert. This, according to young activists, is a sign of a growing involvement among the Filipino immigrant and Filipino-American youth in the community and its issues.

“It is so inspiring to see the Filipino youth, whether immigrant or US-born, coming together in aid of our kababayans in the Philippines. The corruption ridden Arroyo government’s inability to provide relief to our people has taught us to unite and collectively act to help our brothers and sisters back home,” said Kathleen Dy of Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey, a progressive Filipino youth organization in based in Jersey City. “We call on the Filipino youth to unite and serve the people.” Ms. Dy concluded.

Endorsing organizations include Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), Kapatirang Pilipino Fraternity (Kappa Pi), Young Educators for Health and Empowerment of the Youth (Yehey), Lakas Diwa, Sandiwa National Alliance of Filipino-American Youth and Philippine Forum-NJ.

For more information regarding the concert and to reserve tickets please email APOY-HCCC Ticket price is $10. Monetary donations are also suggested.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Filipino Youth Group Denounces Brutal Dispersal, Calls for Immediate Investigation

A member of the Presidential Security Group kicks a protester in the face even after he is subdued. -photo by Danny Boy Pata
A protester is gripped by the neck and is reduced to near-nakedness after police tear his clothes to shreds. -photo by Danny Boy Pata
-photo by Aaron Favila
Cops attempt to crush a downed protester with a steel barrier. -photo by Aaron Favila
The chairperson of the UP-CSWCD Student Council is lifted by her hair by a member of the PSG.
August 19, 2009


Reference: Kathleen Dy, Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey

Filipino Youth Group Denounces Brutal Dispersal, Calls for Immediate Investigation

New Jersey- Filipino youth group Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey strongly denounce the brutal dispersal of a youth protest held yesterday at the Malacañang Palace, official residence of the Philippine president. Youth and student demonstrators held a peaceful lightning rally in front of the presidential palace to condemn Arroyo and her entourage’s controversial US-trip. The progressive youth group from Jersey city supports call for a just investigation of the Philippine National Police (PNP )and Presidential Security Group (PSG)personnel involved in the said incident.

“We are outraged by the exercise of violence by the PNP and members of the PSG. We support Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino’s resolution to call for an immediate investigation of those PNP and PSG personnel involved in the brutal dispersal of activists. They and their superiors must be held accountable for their acts of brutality,” said Anakbayan Deputy Sec. Gen. Yves Nibungco.

Videos and footages taken by the media show police and members of the Presidential Security Group snatching and taking turns in beating and dragging demonstrators. One photo even shows an enforcer in civilian attire kicking an already restrained activist in the face. According to Fil-am youth activists, the cruel acts of the Police are manifestations of state-sponsored violence.

“These security personnel and law enforcers are supposed to protect the citizens but it is clear that they were violating the right to peacefully assemble and air grievances. If they are capable of such brutality against the people in broad daylight and in the front of the media, what more horrible acts can they do when no one’s looking?” added Bea Sabino, a member of Anakbayan NY/NJ.

The said protest action was held in condemnation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s most recent and controversial trip to the United States. Arroyo and her entourage reportedly spent over Php37 million in extravagant dinners and hotel stays in Manhattan and in Washington, D.C. This earned major disapproval from Filipinos back home and abroad.

“We call on our kababayans in New York and New Jersey to not let this incident pass. They already insulted our intellect by bombarding us with lies and alibis to cover-up the lavish trip, now they are brutalizing our brothers and sisters in the Philippines for telling the truth,” Ms. Sabino ended.

On Friday, August 21, Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey, together with allied organizations under Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA (BAYAN-USA) will be staging an indignation protest in front of the Philippine Consulate in New York at 3:00pm-4:00pm. These said protest is in condemnation of Arroyo’s lavish dinners and the brutal dispersal of the protest in Malacañang.###

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Filipino Youth Group Calls for an End to Arroyo’s “Glo-ttony”, Dares Arroyo to Surrender Wealth

Filipino Youth Group Calls for an End to Arroyo’s “Glo-ttony”, Dares Arroyo to Surrender Wealth

New Jersey-Filipino youth of Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey call for an end to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s gluttony and greed after a recent controversial $20,000 dinner at Manhattan’s Le Cirque and a previous one at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse in Washington, D.C. for $15,000. This overindulgence earned criticisms from the opposition, as it was held amidst an appalling poverty and economic situation in the Philippines.

Guilty of “Glo-ttony”

Mrs. Arroyo and her entourage began their alleged spending extravaganza before meeting Pres. Obama in Washington, D.C. on July 30. According to two separate articles from the online edition of the New York Post, Arroyo and company came to spend $15,000 in D.C. and an alleged $20,000 at Le Cirque, hours before heading back to the Philippines.

The article, titled “Eat and Drink” described the feast as “enjoying the good life”, adding that, “Macapagal-Arroyo ordered several bottles of very expensive wine, pushing the dinner tab up to $20,000”. Another report came out on Aug.12 claiming that Arroyo and her cohorts had a prior “feast frenzy” in D.C. before meeting president Obama last July 30th. The commentary stated “The party spared no expense, and had lobster, steak and expensive wines”.

“One of the deadly sins is gluttony, which means excessive eating and consumption. We declare this regime guilty of this deadly sin. This latest debacle is a testament to Arroyo’s unquestionable corruption and insensitivity to the poverty of our countrymen back home. The sum of both lavish dinners, around $35,000, could have been spent on vital social services and poverty eradication measures that 2 out of 5 “food hungry” Filipinos should have benefitted from.” Said Jules Danzey of Anakbayan NY/NJ

Not a Simple Dinner

In an effort to justify the allegations, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde immediately responded to critics, dismissing the incident as a “simple dinner”. In another effort to respond to criticisms, Remonde added that the president cannot be expected to eat in a hotdog stand.

“The Administration’s statements reflect the kind of government we have under Arroyo’s rule - an arrogant government of the few who bask in luxury. This government has repeatedly misused the hard-earned tax money of the Filipino people,” said Anakbayan member, Kathleen Dy.

This, according to the young activist, shows the Administration’s elitism and ignorance of the people’s real conditions.

“Arroyo, Mr. Remonde and the rest of the administration’s lap dogs should go to the countryside, factories, urban-poor communities and to the cramped apartments of Overseas Filipino Workers in order for them to see what a simple dinner is. Consuming fine wine and caviar at the expense of millions of starving Filipinos is not and will never be just a simple dinner,” Ms. Dy added.

The Youth Challenge

On Aug.10, a report from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) on the exponential growth of Arroyo’s wealth came out. According to the report, Arroyo acquired more wealth than the wealth of Cory, Erap and Ramos’ combined since she came to power.

According to PCIJ’s statement, “Arroyo’s declared net worth more than doubled (pegged only on the book or acquisition value of her assets), from P66.8 million in 2001 to P143.54 million in 2008. The increase of P76.74 million represents a growth rate of 114 percent.” In comparison to the country’s past three presidents, Arroyo’s rapid wealth increase dwarfs Corazon Aquino’s 4.8 percent from 1989 to 1992, Fidel Ramos’s 34.2 percent from 1992 to 1998, and Joseph Estrada’s 7.2 percent from 1998 to1999.

“No amount of finger-pointing and issue-dodging can distort the issue in the eyes of the vigilant masses. Whether the dinner was paid by congressman Romualdez, his relative or the first couple, it is clear that Arroyo’s lavish spending and amassing of wealth embody government corruption. This is how the elite uses our government as a milking cow to accumulate more wealth from the toiling Filipino people and perpetuate themselves in power,” stated Yves Nibungco, Deputy Sec. Gen. of Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey.

Mr. Nibungco concluded with a challenge, “We dare Arroyo and the rest of the her clique, particularly Cerge Remonde, to surrender all their amassed wealth to the Filipino people and find out what a real simple dinner actually looks like. Either they start telling the truth or run the risk of another people’s revolt.”

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Youth Group Calls on Filipinos to Register for 2010 Elections, Be Part of Change

August 6, 2009

For Immediate Release

Refrence: Yves Nibungco, Deputy Sec. Gen. of Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey


Youth Group Calls on Filipinos to Register for 2010 Elections, Be Part of Change

New Jersey- Filipino youth group Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey and Philippine Forum-NJ calls on the Filipino people in Jersey city to be part of change by registering for the 2010 Philippine National Elections.

On August 8, 2009, the said Filipino groups will be holding an Overseas Absentee Voter’s Registration at Kalusugan Coalition’s office at Suite 413 4th floor, 591 Summit Ave. Jersey city. The said event will take place from 10:00am to 3:00pm. A Free health screening, that includes blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol check, will be generously provided by Kalusugan Coalition alongside with the voter’s registration.

Time to Make OFW Voices Heard

Filipinos overseas comprises a huge part of the voting population as more than 3000 Filipinos leave every day. According to Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), in the first two months of 2009 alone, a total of 283,348 Filipinos went abroad. Also, remittances from OFW’s have been keeping the ailing Philippine economy afloat amidst a global economic crisis. Last year, remittances went up to $16B and $6.98B in the first 5 months of 2009 alone.

While the Overseas Filipino Workers keeps the Philippine economy alive, the government continues to neglect its so-called “Bagong Bayani”. Based on Migrante International’s report to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers, as of April 2009, there are 35 OFW’s in the death row in 6 countries and 10,000 still stranded mostly because they ran away from their abusive employer

“Philippine Consulates, Embassies and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) seem incapable and uninterested in protecting and advancing the rights and welfare of our compatriots around the world, a clear refleaction of the Arroyo regime's attitude towards OFW's. That is why we, as Overseas Filipino Workers, must start flexing our political muscle and demand a more accountable government that will truly serve our needs. Now is the time for us Filipinos abroad to get involved and be part of the movement to bring change in our motherland.” Said Yves Nibungco, Deputy Sec. Gen. of Anakbayan New York/New Jersey.

9 Years of Labor Export Policy Must End

Under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s regime, the Labor Export Policy became full blown. Concretely, under Arroyo, Administrative Order no. 247, was put into place, shifting the function of Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) from regulatory to a full blown marketing of OFW’s abroad. Labor Export Policy (LEP) became Arroyo’s substitute for the absence of national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform in the Philippines. This said government policy, according to members of Anakbayan, is responsible for the massive diaspora of Filipinos abroad and the rise of unemployment and poverty back home.

“We, the Filipino youth, believe that 9 years of Labor Export Policy must come to an end together with GMA's regime this coming 2010. But we have reasons to believe that Arroyo is planning to rule beyond 2010, regardless whether it is through charter change or martial rule. The Filipino people are not commodities to be sent and sold on the international labor market. We want genuine change back home. By registering to be an overseas absentee voter and encouraging our kababayans to do the same, we are sending a clear message to Ms. Arroyo not to even dare to extend her term. 9 years of being pimped across the globe must end now!”, said Kathleen Dy, member of Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey.

Rumors of a “No Election” scenario surfaced when the Philippine Congress rammed through the controversial House Resolution 1109 on June 2, 2009. H.R. 1109 is a resolution calling for the convening of a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 Philippine constitution. This move by the administration-dominated lower house, according to members of Anakbayan, was meant to extend Arroyo’s cling to power.

"If Arroyo pushes for the Constituent Assembly and Charter Change, she will definitely see more militant mass actions from Filipinos abroad and in the home front." concluded Ms. Dy.###

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Filipino Youth Group calls on Filipinos to register for 2010 polls

Why is it important to register as an Overseas Absentee Voter (OAV)?

Last year, Overseas Filipino workers contributed more than $15 Billion to the ailing Philippine Economy. While Filipinos overseas keep the Philippine economy afloat, it is sad, even offensive, that we lack representation in the political arena back home. By registering as an Overseas Absentee Voter, we will be able to play a role in choosing leaders who will fight for our rights while we are away from the Philippines. You should register as an OAV in order to vote for the 2010 Philippine National Election.

Why should you vote on the May 10, 2010 Philippine National Election?

You should vote not just because it is your civic duty, you should vote because the Philippines is in dire need of change and you have the ability to make that CHANGE happen. You may think that as an individual your vote may be little more than a whisper but when your vote is combined with the votes of others who share your views, it becomes a loud voice that cannot be ignored. As Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo plots to change the constitution and prolong her stay in power through Constituent Assembly and Charter Change, registering to vote and VOTING itself are ways to strongly remind the current administration how much we value true democracy.

Who is eligible to vote?

According to the Commission on Elections, all citizens of the Philippines abroad, not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election and who wish to vote for President, Vice-President, Senators and Party List Representatives for purposes of the May 10, 2010 National Elections must file applications for registration/certification as overseas absentee voters from December 1, 2008 to August 31, 2009. The voting period will be from April 10, 2010 until 3:00 p.m. Philippine time of May 10, 2010.

How can you register to be an Overseas Absentee Voter?

On August 8, 2009, an Overseas Absentee Voter’s Registration will be held in the Five Corners area of Jersey City from 10am-3pm. You will need a valid Philippine Passport or Dual Citizenship Documents to register. In addition to the voter’s registration, Kalusugan Coalition will hold a free health screening (Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Cholesterol). Two-hour fasting is required for the health screening. Details of the event are at the back of this page. If you cannot make it on August 8, you can go to the Philippine Consulate in NY to register on or before August 31, 2009.

This community event is organized by Anakbayan New York/New Jersey, Kalusugan Coalition and Philippine Forum New Jersey .

For questions, feel free to email us at or call Kathleen at 2012535765.

3rd BAYAN Congress and 1st GAB-USA Founding Congress

A Glimpse of Youth POWER!