Monday, June 04, 2007

Fil-Am Youth Denounce Killings, Election Fraud at NYC Independence Day Celebration

News Release

Reference: Yancy Gandionco, Anakbayan NY/NJ, e-mail:

Fil-Am Youth Denounce Killings, Election Fraud at NYC Independence Day Celebration

This past Sunday during the Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City, Anakbayan New York and New Jersey members went into the streets with placards reading "STOP THE POLITICAL KILLINGS" and "NO TO ELECTION FRAUD AND VIOLENCE". Anakbayan NY/NJ, a Filipino youth collective, marched not to just celebrate Filipino culture and heritage, but to raise awareness of the ongoing atrocities occurring in our motherland.

During this past election period in the Philippines, Anakbayan NY/NJ has been in full support of Kabataan Partylist with the TEXT B.A.C.K. (Text Brigade Against Cheating and Killings) campaign this past May. Kabataan Partylist is the youth partylist that would fully represent the youth sector of the Philippines in Congress and fully raise the issues of the youth especially education. Due to the rampant vote padding and election fraud that occurred this past election, Kabataan party-list may not get a seat in Congress. Instead of representatives who will fully represent the masses of the Philippines, Gloria and her cronies have stolen votes from the people to keep herself in power.

Along with election fraud, Kabataan partylist has been affected by the ongoing political killings in the Philippines. After the election period, the first documented political killings were of two Kabataan poll watchers in Camarines Norte. Ronaldo Brezuela, 16, and Roberto 'Jun-jun' Bagasbas, Jr., 27, were abducted by uniformed men on May 15 and found dead with multiple gunshot wounds the following day. However, the military has dismissed their deaths as 'collateral damage' in an encounter between the NPA and AFP. It is discouraging to know that people as young as 16 who are working to create positive change in this corrupt society are being killed.

"As Filipinos here in the U.S., we need to work for a true democracy in the Philippines." responded Yancy Gandionco, Anakbayan NY/NJ youth organizer. "It's appalling to know that these killings are happening in the Philippines, especially to the youth. But these are desperate times for the U.S.-Arroyo regime to protect themselves and their power. Instead of these political killings, the government should be protecting and serving the people, especially the youth, since they are the hope of the nation." ###

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