NYC FilAm Women Call in Solidarity with Thousands in RP No to ChaCha and No to Gloria Mother Mary John Mananzan to Join NYC SONA Actions

GABRIELA USA Mother Mary John Mananzan

Mother Mary John Mananzan

For Immediate Release
July 27, 2009

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE),

NYC FilAm Women Call in Solidarity with Thousands in RP No to ChaCha and No to Gloria
Mother Mary John Mananzan to Join NYC SONA Actions

New York, NY– In the Philippines, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo delivers the Philippine ‘s state of the nation address (SONA) on July 27th, 2009, her annual address will report an laudatory state of the country’s economic, political, and social state. In past years, her singular declaration has been met with the fervor of the thousands of voices demonstrating in the streets of what progressive Filipino alliances like BAYAN and GABRIELA call “The People’s SONA.” In the annual largest, militant protest, the Philippine masses have exposed the truth about the dismal poverty, skyrocketing prices of goods and widespread landlessness; all of which have resulted in a calculated and steady stream of migration from the country.

To add insult to injury, GMA’s incorrigible human rights violations record has over and again been investigated, arraigned and found guilty by international bodies, special agents and, most importantly, the Filipino people in the Philippines and abroad. The most recent case of the abduction and torture of Melissa Roxas, a Filipino American human rights advocate, is a key manifestation of GMA’s negligence around the human rights and welfare of Filipinos.

Joined by Mother Mary John Mananzan, the honorary and long time, chair of GABRIELA, and also chair of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), FilAm women in New York, along with other Filipino organizations in the city bring light to the continued inequalities faced by Filipinos worldwide as direct result of faulty policies and practices supported by US-Philippine relations. Mananzan will speak at the July 27 New York activities to illuminate FilAms on the real state of the nation.

Three days after GMA’s SONA, she will arrive in Washington, DC, to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, making her the first Southeast nation head of state to do so. It is clear that GMA’s longstanding desire to meet with President Obama is motivated by her low approval ratings in her nation and need to cleanse her tainted 8-administration cluttered with scandal, corruption, graft, thievery and authoritarian politics. Arroyo’s administration is attempting to reform the 1987 constitution of the Philippines that will give GMA the ability to govern with less oversight by and accountability for the people. Her administration’s economic policies have prioritized foreign-owned big business over healthy, local economies, to the disadvantage of the country she should serve. If President Obama supports GMA’s dishonest claims to democracy, endangerment of human rights and welfare of the Filipino people will surely ensue.

In GMA’s current regime, broken democracy and an unfair economy have left Filipino citizens no recourse but to leave their homeland in search of livelihood. The Philippines’ number one export is human labor; 70% of those leaving are women working as domestic servants, nannies, caretakers, and nurses across the globe. Many of these women are rendered defenseless in the face of abuse and exploitation because of their transitional citizenship status.

Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE)-GABRIELA USA calls attention to the continued injustices faced by Filipina women, which are direct results of the broken systems that the Arroyo administration fails to address. We demand that President Obama question the Arroyo administration in its practices of human rights violations, its efforts for a charter change, and its support for economic inequality. These actions have wrongly curbed civil liberties in the Philippines, and will continue to disadvantage Filipinas across the globe.

Filipino American women in FiRE-GABRIELA USA join in the international call to scrap Cha-Cha! We demand a real change in Philippine politics, out with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo! The Filipino people, immigrants and generations of Filipinos outside of the Philippines say we need CHANGE, not charter change!

NYC People’s State of the Nation Forum and Mobilization!
Monday July 27th 6PM @ the Bayanihan Community Center (40-21 69th st)
Take the 7 to 69th St.



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