Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Hands-off the Youth! Keep-out of the Campuses" Says Fil-Am Youth to AFP, Arroyo Gov't.

Novemeber 20, 2008

New York City, NY- Immigrant and US-born Filipino youth condemned the continuous harassment of students and youth activists in the Philippines last Thursday in front of the Philippine Consulate. Anakbayan NY/NJ, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), Kappa Pi fraternity, Sandiwa Filipino Youth Alliance and BAYAN-USA's representatives disregarded the cold and spoke in front of the consulate to call for a stop on Campus Militarization and criminalization of youth activists in the Philippines.

"We condemn GMA's harassment of the Filipino youth and the campus militarization occurring in the Philippines. Mrs. Arroyo should focus more on solving economic problems such as high prices of basic commodities instead of trying to silence the youth." said Bea Sabino, a member of the militant youth organization, Anakbayan NY/NJ.

Demonstrators also raised issues such as low income wages, landlessness, budget cuts in social services, grotesque corruption and an endless spate of human rights violations that continue to burden the youth and the rest of the Filipino people. These, members of the said activist organizations say, are the reasons why youth are pouring in the streets and joining the growing movement to oust Mrs. Arroyo.

Yves Nibungco, Deputy Secretary General of Anakbayan NY/NJ, stated
"We are warning the US-Arroyo dictatorship that no guns nor truncheons can ever silence the youth. Like Rachelle Mae Palang, Cris Hugo, Rei Mon Guran, Peter Angcon and other youth martyrs who boldly defied Arroyo's fascist regime, we vow to continue our people's struggle to depose this tyrant named Gloria Arroyo and attain freedom and genuine democracy for our people!"

Activists also appealed to passersby to demand an end on US military aid to the Philippine military. "US military aid to the Philippines is linked to the human rights crisis in the Philippines. There is documented increase in human rights violations, including killings and abductions, in the Philippines when there is an increase in US military aid to the country", said Berna Ellorin, Secretary General of the progressive alliance, BAYAN-USA.

Ellorin added,"rather than spend millions of US tax dollars on Philippine death squads, the US government should invest in healthcare, education, affordable housing, and social security for the US population. As taxpayers into the system, people in the US have a right and duty to exercise outrage over the human rights crisis in the Philippines and demand money be invested in domestic prosperity in this time of economic downturn. That is millions of US dollars the majority of impoverished Filipinos would gladly refuse from the US government."

"As we near the celebration of Anakbayan's 10th year anniversary of serving the people, we call on the Filipino youth who are eager to see a social and political metamorphosis to rise above the challenges of our times. Let us dare to struggle! Let us dare to make a change!" concluded Nibungco.

Anakbayan NY/NJ is an official chapter of Anakbayan Philippines. It is a comprehensive national democratic organization of the youth that seeks to empower the youth for social change and advance the Filipino people's rights and welfare.###

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