FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2013
Reference: Jenilee Policarpio, Chairperson, Anakbayan Seattle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Filipino Youth in Seattle Demand President Aquino Clean His Pigsty
Seattle, WA — We as Filipino American youth and students stand with those participating in mobilizations in the Philippines and around the globe for the abolition of the Pork Barrel system supported by the Aquino Regime. As over 18,000 families called out for aid in the midst of Typhoon Maring, Aquino still attempts to hold onto his presidential pork barrel ranging up to 1.5 trillion pesos. This amount is equivalent to 70% of the total national budget, which is significantly more than the 25 billion pesos allocated to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) that Aquino so proudly abolished.
Despite Aquino’s abolishment of the PDAF as an act of accordance to the people, the remaining amount allotted to the presidential pork barrel allows for the perpetuation of corruption and power to the existing ruling class and exploitative policies that plague the Philippines. Instead of these funds being allocated to social services and those in dire need of basic necessities for living, it has been transformed into a tool for the corrupt to maintain their political power over the people. In this case, these funds are under the sole discretion of the Aquino Regime.
As Filipino Americans, we’ve seen these exploitative practices push our families away from the homeland in order to survive. September 21, 2013 marks 41 years since President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in the Philippines in 1972 that would secure his power and suspend civil rights for the next 14 years. “It was the pursuit of economic opportunity that drove my Dad to leave the homeland. He would always express that going overseas was the only way he knew of supporting us and his family back home, when work in the Phils wasn’t enough to support.” – Enrico Abadesco, Vice-Chair of Anakbayan Seattle, whose family left the Philippines during the Marcos era.
For as long as this method of funding “pork barrel” is able to continue, the lives of over 4,000 Filipinos that leave their homeland everyday will only continue to grow; breaking families apart and leaving many to continue with the unfair living conditions the government perpetuates.
As members of Anakbayan Seattle we share a long history of resistance rooted in building a mass movement. Mass movements led by youth such as the revolutionary fight against the Spaniards led by the Katipunan and the struggle against the US-Marcos Regime started with the student led First Quarter Storm. We understand that only through people power and a united mass movement that we can struggle for the abolishment of corrupt practices by the Philippine government. We are standing in defiance toward this deceitful and oppressive act that Aquino Regime is attempting to enforce.
We call on all Filipinos and allies to stand against Pork Barrel and government corruption!
NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!
ABOLISH ALL PORK BARREL FUNDS NOW!
RE-CHANNEL FUNDS TO SOCIAL SERVICES!
INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE ALL INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION!