Category Archives: Uncategorized

GABRIELA-USA Solidarity Message to the Citizens of Ferguson, Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 25, 2014

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

IMG_3032

Two weeks have passed since the people of Ferguson have taken to the streets to protest the brutal murder of Michael Brown at the hands of the Ferguson Police Department. GABRIELA-USA, a Filipino women’s alliance with member chapters in Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, stands in solidarity with the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, asserting their constitutional right to assemble in protest against this injustice.

As mothers, grandmothers, daughters and sisters, we send our deepest sympathies and unanimous support to Ferguson communities voicing their outrage in response to the institutionalized racism that targets the lives of Black people daily. We denounce the state-sponsored police violence that systematically criminalizes, de-values, de-humanizes and violates the safety and lives of Black families. We mourn the lives of Black children, particularly young Black men, murdered by militarized police states.

We raise our fists and take to the streets in our own communities to protest state repression. While fighting for rights of immigrants and working-class people of color in the U.S., as militant Filipina women, we understand all too well the connection between our struggles for liberation and self-determination, from our homeland of the Philippines, to Palestine, to Ferguson.

It as our duty to fight for the collective liberation of all our people; we continually link our struggles for national liberation in our homeland with the liberation of people throughout the world. We stand in solidarity with Ferguson, Missouri.  We stand in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown and the families of other young Black and Brown people who unjustly fall victim to violence in the hands of the state.

We Stand in Solidarity with the People of Ferguson, Missouri!

Justice for Michael Brown!        

End State-Sponsored Police & Military Brutality!

#BlackLivesMatter

###

GABRIELA USA Solidarity Message to the Palestinian People

GABUSA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2014

Reference: Irma Bajar, Vice Chair of International Relations, GABRIELA USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com

GABRIELA USA, a Filipino women’s alliance consisting of member organizations in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine against the recent air strikes and bombings by the Zionist government of Israel. We strongly condemn all imperialist governments, led by the United States, for their continued monetary support, collusion and provocation of these brutal attacks and genocide of the Palestinian people.

We send our deepest sympathies and unequivocal support to the liberation movement of Palestine, and in particular the women & children of Gaza who live in constant fear for their and their families’ lives because of the unending assault at the hands of Zionists. We in the U.S. are bearing witness to the escalated state-sanctioned genocide of a people fighting for their ancestral land, as well as the right to sovereignty and self-determination. We are disgusted witnessing this slaughter, supported by our government’s self-serving interests, supported by our U.S tax dollars.

Western imperialist governments, like the U.S., play a big role in fanning the animosity and war between Israel and Palestine, by continually sending political and military support to Israel, thereby directly participating in the killings of innocent Palestinians, a US imperialist policy implemented against all nations across the world attempting to assert their sovereignty. In 2014 alone, Israel received $3.1 billion in bilateral assistance from the U.S., which serves as an estimated 23-25% of Israel’s defense budget.

It is our duty as Filipina women fighting for the liberation of our people in the Philippines, that we link our struggle for national liberation with that of other movements in the spirit of true international solidarity. We stand in solidarity with Palestinian women, who despite threat to their lives and security, continue to struggle for their people’s freedom against Zionist occupation, and for a free and sovereign Palestine.

Long Live the Palestinian People!

Long Live International Solidarity!

###

Noynoy Aquino’s SONA Covers Up Failures as Filipino American Women Call for Noynoy’s ImPEACHment!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 26, 2014

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

Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino is set to deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 28, 2014, which we can expect to be several hours worth of the same broken promises and excuses Aquino has been promoting for the past three years of his sordid administration. Mired in recent controversies of corruption via the presidential Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), brash signing of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), continued human rights violations, and his inadequate response to Typhoon Haiyan, Filipino-American women are fed up with a negligent president and are joining mass protests to call for Aquino’s impeachment from office.

Eight months after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines, the Aquino administration has failed to respond to the basic needs of typhoon survivors. In March, during a dialogue with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), representatives of Typhoon Haiyan survivors, majority of whom are women and children, called for P40,000 (roughly USD $925) in immediate relief stipends for families. This request was denied by DSWD due to a supposed lack of funding, which raises concerns on how the national budget and global aid has been allocated and spent.

“When the government shrug their shoulders about relief and basic needs of the Filipino people, the whole country suffers. It is unacceptable that crooked politicians claim a lack of funding and turn around to spend millions of pesos on luxurious and unnecessary expenses,” says Valerie Francisco, National Chairperson of GABRIELA USA.

To this end, proof of Aquino’s contradictions with his “straight and narrow” way or matuwid na daan has come to the fore as the Supreme Court recently ruled that the presidential pork barrel, the Discretionary Acceleration Program (DAP), a lump sum of discretionary funds under the total control of the president, as unconstitutional. The president claimed that DAP was supposed to be a stimulus for the Philippine economy when expenses such as the P800 million of his DAP funds for Malacañang renovation do not have clear consequences for the overall national economy and still leaves Filipinos in need out to dry.

The signing of EDCA, which allows U.S. military presence in the Philippines, is also a clear sign of Aquino’s disregard for the well-being of women and children. “It is widely known that prostitution, sex trafficking, and human rights violations run rampant in areas surrounding military bases, and we can only expect these to increase with the signing of EDCA,” says Pia Cortez, Chairperson of GABRIELA San Francisco. It is clear that the Aquino administration continues to prioritize US interests over the well-being of his own people.

Aquino’s lack of commitment to the welfare of Filipinos extends to migrant citizens in the U.S. The plight of more than 200 trafficked Filipino teachers still hang in the balance, as the hunt for their trafficker, Isidro Rodriguez, continues after being released from prison in the Philippines. “Aquino and the Department of Justice has failed to protect its citizens from predatory human traffickers, and continues to fumble in its handling of a clear human trafficking case impacting hundreds of people! In the mean time, survivors are left to fend for ourselves without any support from the government agencies that were so eager to take our money and migrate us out of the country!” claims Fen Ecleo, Co-chairperson of GABRIELA Washington DC and survivor of human trafficking.

With these outstanding abuses to Filipino in the Philippines and worldwide, there is no doubt that Aquino is filled with deception and defensive strategies to keep him and his elite cronies protected. Joining a growing clamor of Filipinos calling for accountability from the president, member organizations of GABRIELA USA will be protesting Aquino’s SONA outside of Philippine embassies across the U.S. carrying peach ribbons, calling for the imPEACHment of Aquino.

###