Tag: philippines (page 1 of 6)

Haiyan Relief Underway: GABRIELA USA Weekly Update 11/18/13

imageGABRIELA USA extends our heartfelt gratitude to all the individuals and organizations from all over the world who have extended generous support towards Lingap GABRIELA, a partner to Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan (BALSA) with relief efforts for the recent devastation of Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan). Your contributions thus far have helped with efforts involving pack distribution, debris clean up, and urgent medical services for survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. History shows that in times of disaster, people’s organizations have been more effective in providing genuine relief than the Philippine government.

Precious Butiu, a member of Pinay sa Seattle-GABRIELA USA, reports back from the GABRIELA-Philippines headquarters, “Many hands worked around the clock, to put relief packs, containing rice, water, canned meat and salt.” Lingap GABRIELA is enroute to Tacloban City via Hilogo, Leyte. Another team has reached Northern Samar via Sorsogon, all in preparation for a relief mission to the Eastern Visayas. On November 21, material donations will be distributed by GABRIELA members and volunteer health workers doing typhoon relief work.


Pin@y sa Seattle’s Precious Butiu in the Philippines, with Jamila and Chloe, daughters of a steel worker at their picket line

“It is high time that the Aquino government get its act together rather than waste time and effort defending itself from international criticism for its glaringly disorganized and incompetent response to the disaster brought about by Super Typhoon Yolanda,” states Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan. Violence and rape of women and children are escalating in areas hit by the Super Typhoon Yolanda, and the lack of timely systematized relief to the people is merely a reflection of government corruption and neglect even before the typhoon hit.

How to donate:

To ensure aid reaches the Philippines as fast as possible, GABRIELA-USA is collecting and remitting monetary donations. GABRIELA-USA is partnering with NAFCON and the Bayanihan Relief campaign to accept online donations. Donations can be made through NAFCON’s Paypal account at http://nafconusa.org/programs/.

Please make a note on the NAFCON paypal page that you heard about the relief effort through GABRIELA. Checks can be made payable to “St. George Fontana” and on the memo ine, write “NAFCON Bayanihan Relief” and send check/cash donations to your nearest GABRIELA chapter. Please include your return address with your donation. For qualifying tax-deductible donations, please email trea@nafconusa.org for necessary documentation.


Gabriela USA Outraged Over Deportation of Pinay from SeaTac Airport


For Immediate Release

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, Gabriela USA


October 14, 2013

Gabriela USA Outraged Over Deportation of Pinay from SeaTac Airport

Seattle, WA – On October 1st, 63 year old Filipina woman, Carina Grande, was traveling from the Philippines on her 10th visit to the US to attend her daughter’s wedding. Upon arrival, she was wrongfully accused of being an undocumented immigrant out to seek employment as a domestic worker for a family member, and in the process was harassed and insulted by immigration officers at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Even after verifying valid paperwork and a 10 year US visa, officials still directed her to be questioned. During her interrogation, they did not give her any water or food for 6 hours. Accusing her of lying, the immigration officers gave her an ultimatum, either be deported or go to jail and be barred from entry into the US for five years. Grande chose to be deported and stated, “Exhausted, hungry, and sleep-deprived, I chose option one. It is disheartening that at my age, I didn’t receive any respect from these officials. I was treated like a criminal.”

Locally in Seattle, Maru Villalpando Mora of Latino Advocacy states, “Carina Grande’s case is too common but very few travelers have the chance to share their stories and get media attention. This case reflects the need to bring back the dignity of all people to the forefront of the immigrant rights struggle. The way she was treated is a reflection of how immigrants are seen by immigration officials, as deportation quotas in order to keep the Congressional budget growing.”

This is an example of many cases that involve US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) abusing their authority and violating basic constitutional protections and human rights of immigrants. Gabriela USA believes that this perpetuates the growing issue of criminalization towards Filipinos including the racial profiling of Filipinas as undocumented, domestic workers. Keeping Carina Grande from visiting her family through the practices of the CBP, dehumanizes individuals. There has been no accountability from the officials that conducted the interrogation. They have not even responded to the allegations or disclosed the names of individuals who handled the case.

Donna Denina, Gabriela USA Political Education officer states, “Carina’s case exposes the weakness in the current immigration policy of the US. It is designed to treat immigrants and migrants inhumanely where they are often viewed as criminals and a threat to national security instead of treated with dignity. This kind of treatment is in the context to control the flow of immigrants, migrants, workers and their families according to the needs and dictates of the US economy, thereby denying them their basic human right to be treated with dignity and respect.”

Progressive groups of the PNW Bayan USA alliance alongside Gabriela USA will continue to fight for comprehensive immigration reform policies that seek to not only give back rights to migrants and immigrants in this country, but to also take into account the aggressive neoliberal economic policies of the US that force thousands of migrants out of their countries.


MEDIA RELEASE: Anakbayan Seattle – Filipino Youth in Seattle Demand President Aquino Clean His Pigsty


September 21, 2013

Reference: Jenilee Policarpio, Chairperson, Anakbayan Seattle, anakbayan.seattle@gmail.com


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!





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