07 March 2008
Filipino-American Youth Act Now!
Reference: Andrelie Suarez, Youth Coordinator
New York - Loud and clear. This is how the Filipino youth of New York/New Jersey delivered the message "Patalsikin si Gloria!" across the Filipino community last March 6 in Woodside, Queens.
The chants of the Filipino youth showed that they want a corrupt-free Philippines and they want the corrupt president out of office. This call echoes that of the Filipino youth back in the country who also held the second Youth Action Day on the same day (the first was on February 28). The protest march was led by YOUTH ACT NOW (Youth for Accountability and Truth Now!), with different youth student councils, organizations, student alliances, campus publications, and overseas-based organizations as members of the coalition demanding for truth and accountability in Philippine government.
Asked why they are joining protest actions such as these, Anne Beryl Corotan of Sandiwa, a Filipino-American youth organization with chapters in other major US cities, said, "It is necessary because time and time again, we've been ousting presidents. However, the problem is not just ousting that one person. It is the system that has been corrupt and we should not just sit here and not do anything about it because as Filipino youth, we are still affected."
Kappa Pi (Kapatirang Pilipino), a newly-formed community-based fraternity of Filipino youth in New York also joined the protest action. "It's like a game. We don't need to change just the players but the game itself," said Peewee Recaido, member of Kappa Pi, referring to the officials of the government as the players and the corrupt ways of the Philippine government in running the country as the game that needs to be changed.
Joyce Maer, a young clerical associate in Elmhurst hospital who also expressed her interest in helping the country by joining the Filipino youth's global protest actions stated, "I'm disappointed in our government and very mad at how the system is getting worse. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and it's not fair."
With the campaign of Youth Act Now reaching the New York/New Jersey area, the Filipino-American youth are expected to hold more anti-corruption and anti-GMA actions in other parts of these two states in the coming weeks.
"We join thousands of Filipino youth around the world in the calls for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to step down. We condemn the corruption spearheaded by Philippine government officials who have been taking advantage of the Fillipino people over and over again. They can't even provide accessible education and can't create jobs in the homeland for the thousands of Filipino youth who graduate every year and here they are taking away the people's money for their self-serving interests. The Filipino youth will definitely not allow this kind of government to lead the country," Jonna Baldres, Secretary General of Anakbayan New York/New Jersey said.
The Filipino-American youth started the march with the chant "PATALSIKIN SI GLORIA!" They ended the march with the same united call. ###