GABRIELA USA Demands Immediate Resignation from BS Aquino

For Immediate Release

February 25, 2015

Contact: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com

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 February 25, 2015 marks 29 years since the People Power Revolution or the EDSA Revolution ousted the 20-year long dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The administration was rife with graft and corruption, teeming with human rights violations including murders, enforced disappearances, torture, and wrongful imprisonment of activists and anyone with a dissenting opinion. Today, the son of Marcos’ rival, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino III, is president of the Philippines. Benigno Simeon Aquino III has followed the footsteps of his father’s adversary.

On January 25, 2015, an extremely violent encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the southern part of the Philippines, killed 44 Special Action Forces, a mobile unit of the Philippine National Police, and members of the Moro Liberation Front (MILF), as well as civilians. Under BS Aquino’s watch this incident has exposed his administration’s subservience to US imperialist aggression, militarization and dominance as the clash that claimed the lives at the end of January has been linked to secret US military training, including the use of US drones, which undermines Philippine sovereignty. Additionally, Aquino has avoided any accountability as the widows and family members of the fallen have gone public with the trauma of the incident and seeking out justice.  When families of the killed SAF members confronted Aquino with questions, he responded with sarcasm.  Given this high profile incident, Aquino has demonstrated once again his incompetence and persistent neglect for the overall well-being of the country.

Furthermore, BS Aquino has been lackluster in the trial for the murder of Jennifer Laude, a transgender woman who was found dead on October 11, 2014 in Olongapo City. Aquino has done next to nothing to hold Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the US military personnel who allegedly took Laude’s life, accountable for his crime. He would not so much as attend the wake of the slain transgender woman, claiming “I don’t attend wakes of people I don’t know”.  Although this case of trans-violence has gained international attention, this case comes after the Philippines and the US strengthened its ties with the recent Enhanced Defense Coordination Agreement (EDCA), which allows greater US access to Philippine military camps.

The Filipino people have had enough, and the clamor for BS Aquino’s resignation has increased as his arrogant lack of accountability and neglect of the Filipino people has time and time again proven his incompetency.  Aquino is part of a long history of inept leaders continuing the plunder of the country’s resources, and failed attempts to create any real meaningful change.  From the lessons of EDSA 1 and EDSA 2, we must push forward with an overhaul in the system, but in the interim, a body known as the Transition Council can be formed in the short term.  This interim body could run the state of affairs, which is representative of various groups that would have the genuine interest of the people in mind, until a more permanent government can be formed.  Let us reignite the power of the people once again to call BS Aquino’s resignation and continue the fight for genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines.

GABRIELA USA chapters and affiliated organizations are holding various protest actions and education forums in light of the anniversary of People Power.

AquinoResign

Hold the US-Aquino regime accountable for the bloody incident in Mamasapano!

Aquino Resign! Oust the US-Aquino regime!

Establish a transition council! Advance genuine change!

US Out of the Philippines NOW!

#AquinoResign

#USOutofPH

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Filipino Women and Allies Join One Billion Rising for Revolution to Demand Truth and Accountability from BS Aquino and Call for His Resignation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Statement

February 17, 2015

Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com

Filipino Women and Allies Join One Billion Rising for Revolution to Demand Truth and Accountability from BS Aquino and Call for His Resignation

From February 8-16th, 2015 GABRIELA-USA, along with partner organizations and individuals, in cities across the U.S. including Los Angeles, New York City, San Jose, Seattle, Portland and Washington DC joined the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign to end all forms of violence against women and children, through flashmob dance, educational discussion, community forums, and cultural sharings in their local Filipino communities. This year’s OBR call “Rise for Revolution” was a global call for women, survivors of violence and their allies to demand justice and celebrate women’s determination to create a new kind of consciousness- one where violence will be resisted until its unthinkable. GABRIELA USA members across the nation also rose to resist state repression and negligence as the BS Aquino administration amplifies its attacks on the Filipino people. In urging for Aquino’s resignation, we recognize and demand the need for systematic change in the Philippines.

In the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed the failure of Philippine President Noynoy Aquino to come out and be held accountable for the encounter in Mamasapano where 44 Special Action Forces policemen were killed, along with members of the MILF, civilians and children. This U.S. led operation is proof that the US “war on terror” continues at the expense of Filipino lives. Precious Butiui, Chairperson of GABRIELA Seattle says, “In this third year of participation in OBR, we are demanding truth and accountability for this bloody Mamasapano encounter and demand BS Aquino to stop covering up and to tell the truth and step down from his presidency!”

Just last week, Isidro Rodriguez, an illegal recruiter from the Philippines who has committed several crimes of human trafficking was spotted in Spain. It is evident that the Philippine government has not held traffickers accountable for their crimes, even with a mounting global campaign against Rodriguez.  Pia Rivera of GABRIELA DC says, “Our members who are the Filipino trafficked survivors have been separated from their families, sent to the U.S. with broken promises and still face increasing debt. Rodriguez would not have been able to commit these crimes if it weren’t for the government’s Labor Export Policy which has continued to tear families apart. It is a policy that views the Filipino people as commodities and sources of remittances to uphold the failing economy.” The Aquino administration’s negligence proves that migrants are nothing but cash cows rather than human beings deserving of dignity and respect.

In New York City, Monique Wilson, the global director of One Billion Rising joined GABRIELA New York in their Pinay HERstories: “Migration to Liberation” event that reclaimed the Filipina narrative showing the resilience of Filipino migrant women and the power of community through stories, poetry, song and dance. Candice Sering, Chairperson of GABRIELA New York said, “We are dancing and rising for revolution because the Filipino people deserve to live a dignified life with adequate jobs, livable wages, housing and rights to land ownership.” For GABRIELA members in the US and the Philippines, the government is one of the worst perpetrators of violence against the livelihood of women and the security of their families’ ability to live full lives.

 Lastly, in San Francisco, Pia Cortez, Co-chairperson of GABRIELA stated, “The murder of Jennifer Laude, a trans woman by a U.S marine soldier is an example of unequal relationship between the Philippines and the U.S. Until now, justice for Jennifer has not been served. Her death would not have been possible if Noynoy did not authorize and did not allow U.S. troops in the country through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.” The presence of U.S. military in Philippine soil has put the lives of women and children in danger, and US troops also endangers the lives of transgender people, as we have witnessed with the death of Jennifer Laude, and undoubtedly countless others. Cortez continued, “This is the same climate that we’re also seeing here in the United States, with the recent deaths of trans women of color.” Cortez makes the important global connection of trans-violence but also the need for resistance.

GABRIELA-USA calls on President BS Aquino to resign immediately due to the recent Mamasapano bloodbath and his continued failures, neglecting the Filipino people at home and abroad. We call on our global community to join the movement towards genuine freedom and liberation, and a world where women are free of all forms of violence imposed by a repressive imperialist system. Join us in commemorating International Working Women’s Day on March 8th as we continue to strengthen our collective resistance and power!

Hold the US-Aquino regime accountable for the bloody incident in Mamasapano!

Justice for Filipino Teachers and all victims of human trafficking! End the Labor Export Policy!

Justice for Jennifer Laude and all victims of anti-trans violence!

Aquino Resign!  Oust the US-Aquino regime!

 Check out GABRIELA USA’s One Billion Rising Videos:

GABRIELA New York OBR video with Monique Wilson

GABRIELA Los Angeles OBR video

GABRIELA Seattle OBR video

Breaking News Update! *** ISIDRO RODRIGUEZ SIGHTED IN SPAIN ***

February 12, 2015

WhereInTheWorldisIsidro

Isidro Rodriguez, recruitment agency owner and operator of a large-scale human trafficking scheme, was sighted in Granada, Spain this January by a victim of Rodriguez, who only recently discovered Rodriguez’s status and corrupt history after researching on the Migrante International website.

Since 2003, Rodriguez has victimized at least over 600 Filipino teachers experiencing fraud and abuse, between the Philippines, the United States and now Spain. Despite the placing a hold order against him at the Bureau of Immigrations and placing him on a “watchlist”, Isidro has been  able to freely leave the country with continued impunity.  He remains at large after having been convicted by a Manila regional trial court sentencing him to 11 years in prison for victimizing a Filipino teacher.

He has two existing warrants of arrest against him for illegal recruitment and estafa. Aside from the warrants, he has numerous pending cases of syndicated estafa and large-scale illegal recruitment and trafficking in persons filed in different courts by at least 300 Filipino teachers that he had victimized from 2009-2014. He also has pending complaints against him in US courts by Filipino teachers he has victimized there. Despite the many complaints filed by victims, being placed on a “watchlist” from the BI, Rodriguez continues on with business as usual.

Migrante International is calling for an urgent response from the Philippine Department of Justice and other concerned government agencies in Spain to arrest and extradite Rodriguez now!

Let’s continue to expose the US-Aquino regime in its continued quest to exploit the Filipino people. We have outlined a social media blitz below to prop the issue and call for Isidro’s immediate extradition and PNoy’s resignation as the chief trafficker of the Philippines.  We must expose the US-Aquino regime in its continued quest to exploit the Filipino people.

Action Plan:

As a response, please utilize all social media outlets and prop the image we have supplied with the following hashtags:

#Justice4FilipinoTeachers

#ArrestIsidroRodriguezNow

#PNOYHumanTraffickerinChief

#PNOYResign