Sunday, May 06, 2007


News Flash!!!! TEXTBACK: Fil-Ams Launch National Text Brigade in support of party-list bets

Kabataan, Gabriela, and Suara Bangsamoro Tagged as Fil-Am favorites for 2007

News Release
May 6, 2007

Gary Labao, Spokesperson, TEXT BACK USA, email:;
Sarah Katrina Maramag, Media Officer, Kabataan Party List,

In the final week stretch before Filipinos line up to the ballot boxes, a growing number of Filipino-Americans are also stepping up their initiative promote better legislators in the Philippine Congress.

A nationwide text brigade initiative of the US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, called TEXT BACK (TEXT Brigade Against Cheating and Killings) will target family, friends, and loved ones of the Filipino-American community in the Philippines to vote for sectoral party-lists Kabataan Party, Gabriela Women’s Party, and Suara Bangsamoro.

“A high constituency of our national Fil-Am alliance are youth, young women, and of course, as Filipinos, we understand the conditions of being an marginalized ethnic minority. We see genuine hope in the legislative agendas of Kabataan Party, Gabriela Women’s Party and Suara Bangsamoro to trail blaze a brighter future representing these voices amidst the cheating, violence, and the maneuvers of the trapos (traditional politicians),” states Gary Labao of the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) and a spokesperson for TEXT BACK USA.

Beginning Sunday, May 6th, 7:30pm PT/10:30pm ET in the United States, nationally-coordinated text messages will be sent from texters in New York, San Franciso, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Honolulu and other US cities to various Philippine cities including Manila, Baguio, Davao, and Cebu City.

Text messages will be sent in Tagalog, Visayan, Ilocano, and English. Messages will include catch-phrases such as: Kung Mahal Mo Ang Bayan, Pandaraya Labanan; Pol Killings Wakasan, Sa Trapo Wag Paloko, Progresibo Iboto (If you love your motherland, fight against cheating; End political killings; Don’t vote for traditional politicians, vote for progressives), and signed TEXTBACK USA.

Conversely, in the Philippines, representative from various partylists will be awaiting the text messages from their US-based supporters.

“It is estimated that one Filipino in the US supports 4-5 Filipinos in the Philippines. Fil-Ams are the largest overseas community outside of the Philippines, with almost 4 million Filipinos. With those calculations we anticipate TEXT BACK USA spreading like wildfire reaching thousands, maybe more, of our countrymen this final week before elections,” stated Sarah Katrina Maramag, Media Officer of Kabataan Party List in Manila and Vice-Chairperson of international Filipino youth organization Anakbayan.

Labao also stated that overseas Filipinos may not be lining up by the ballot boxes this election season, but their political power must be asserted, especially during this politically crucial time.

“We are particularly concerned that this election season the Arroyo regime and its supporters will exact heightened repressive measures– including violence, abductions, and killings– to secure its stronghold over the Philippine government versus the democratic will of the Filipino people,” Labao added.

Labao also reiterated the crucial contributions of overseas Filipinos.

“If not for the economic value of overseas remittances, particularly the billions from the US, the Philippine economy will sink. We should have a say in who is elected in the Philippine government,” Labao ended. ###


TEXT BACK USA = sure votes for youth representation in Congress!

May 6, 7:30pm (US time)
May 7, 10:30pm (Philippine time)

Press conference, Kabataan Party-list National Headquarters, 10-C Speaker Perez St., Quezon City; Kabataan regional headquarters (to follow)

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

A Glimpse of Youth POWER!