PLEASE COPY AND PASTE THIS LINK TO YOUR FACEBOOKS AND TWITTERS!
Our brothers and sisters in the homeland are in the homestretch of their elections which are set for Monday, May 10. We want to support as much as we can to defend their right to democratic elections for the Philippines! There have been some urgent developments in that we should all stay vigilant on:
1. Glitches in the new Automated Election System (AES) that Filipinos were weary of in the first place – concerns that were ignored by COMELEC (Commission on Elections)! These glitches are eroding confidence in fair & clean elections just days before the election. Think Florida fiasco messin with Black ppls right to vote during Bush election.
2. President Arroyo is rushing to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice before May 17. This means the wildly unpopular Arroyo could ensure Supreme Court support for extending her term if elections fail (due to technical glitches or etc).
3. President Arroyo deployed 2,300 troops to polling station areas. In the event of chaos due to election failure, these troops could also quell any dissent from the people. This is special cause for concern since the military has been culpable for gross human rights violations, according to the United Nations and Amnesty International.
What can we do as Fil-Ams to make sure there are clean, honest elections in the Philippines?
How we can stay vigilant:
1. Read the statement at the end of this note! Share this information with family & friends.
2. Support candidates that will defend peoples’ rights like Liza Maza & Satur Ocampo and progressive party lists by posting their video on your facebook. Click here for Satur! Click here for Liza Maza!
3. Be ready & lookin out to participate in emergency actions if needed as the political situation unfolds in the homeland. If elections fail, Fil-Ams are calling for a NO REMITTANCE DAY on Monday, May 10!
Let’s come together fam, cuz every one deserves to live under genuine democracy!
For Immediate Release
May 6, 2010
Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fil-Ams Call to Boycott Remittances Should Philippine Elections Fail, Be Postponed
Filipino-Americans under the umbrella group BAYAN USA are calling for a one-day boycott of remittances from the US to the Philippines on Monday, May 10th should the scheduled national elections in the country not push through due to a postponement or technical failure. The alliance called for heightened vigilance to ensure clean, honest, fair, and peaceful elections to take place as scheduled next week and expressed zero-tolerance for a possible holdover scenario of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that would result in an indefinite extension of the current presidential term.
“The conditions for a failure of elections and the engineering of an Arroyo holdover are present,” states BAYAN USA Secretary-General Rhonda Ramiro, who is currently in Manila to participate in an elections observers mission next week. “No one stands to gain from an election postponement or election failure scenario but GMA herself, who can easily take advantage of the current automated election system (AES) chaos and engineer a holdover.”
Last May 4th, a proposal was made by former Arroyo election lawyer Romulo Macalintal to postpone the elections 15 days in order to respond to numerous reports of technical glitches with 76,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines. Macalintal later resigned from his post after the proposal was ultimately rejected by the Comelec, who claimed it could resolve the technical failures by replacing the flash disks in each of the PCOS machines. BAYAN USA, however, continues to raise concern over the timing of events just days before the scheduled May 10th elections.
“In the first place, Comelec and Smartmatic failed to do its job of conducting adequate pre-testing of the PCOS machines before deploying them to the precincts, largely ignoring the people’s questions about the new computerized system” Ramiro continued. “Now just days before the election, it will rush to change all the flash disks to resolve these technical glitches. The Comelec and Smartmatic should be held accountable for failing to ensure accuracy and efficiency of the new AES. Not to mention that the timing of all of this is very suspicious and hints of either massive automated electoral fraud or massive technical failures come election day.”
Ramiro pointed to other conditions that suggest an Arroyo maneuver for election failure, such as the Arroyo government’s rush to appoint a new Supreme Court Chief Justice before May 17th, and the massive deployment of thousands of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) troops to over 10 cities in Metro Manila this week supposedly to monitor polling stations.
“Why rush now to appoint a new Supreme Court Chief Justice? Could it be to ensure that Arroyo would have the Supreme Court’s support to implement a holdover of her term should the elections not push through on Monday? Are the AFP troops deployed to safeguard polling stations or to quell any protest action that may result from a failure of elections next week? Either way, the people, including Filipinos in the US, should be vigilant.” Ramiro concluded.
In 2009, annual remittances from overseas Filipinos totaled to more than $17 billion. Filipinos in the US contribute at least 60% of the annual overall total.
BAYAN USA is joining other Filipino groups in the US in four days of action and vigilance starting this Friday, May 7th till Monday, May 10th. Actions include informational forums, prayer vigils, and demonstrations to monitor the elections and warn against an Arroyo holdover by way of election failure.
For more information, visit http://www.bayanusa.org. ###
BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 14 progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. As an international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S.