Justice for Melissa Cultural Solidarity Night

Justice for Melissa Cultural Solidarity Night

Friday, May 23, 2014, 7 PM
Justice for Melissa Cultural Solidarity Night

Echo Park United Methodist Church
1226 N. Alvarado Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Join us for a cultural solidarity night of music and poetry.  Call for justice for all victims of human rights violations in the Philippines.

Enjoy live performances and hear the poetry of special guest and poet Melissa Roxas—a survivor of torture—courageously sharing her story in the pursuit of justice.

Read Melissa’s open letter to President Obama at justiceformelissa.org.

Read BAYAN USA’s statement and week of actions at bayanusa.org.

More information on the cultural solidarity night at facebook.com.

Forum for Peace in the Philippines


Join us for a discussion about the current human rights situation in the Philippines. We will share personal testimonies and updates from the indigenous people of Talaingod who have been evacuated due to heavy militarization. Learn about the role of the peace talks in the Philippines and be part of the movement for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Rosewood United Methodist Church
4101 Rosewood Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact panaghiusa4minda@gmail.com.

Cal Pac Taskforce for the Philippines
Rosewood UMC
ANAKBAYAN Los Angeles & San Diego
GABRIELA Los Angeles
Habi Arts

Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan Relief Efforts


Panaghiusa Report Back 2013


You’re invited to an evening of solidarity as we report on our International Solidarity Mission this past summer in support of the health, environmental, human rights concerns of the indigenous people of Mindanao and the Filipino peoples’ dreams and struggles for peace with justice.

Saturday, September 21, 2013
Grace United Methodist Church
2325 E 3rd Street
Long Beach, CA 90814

Potluck, 4 PM
Program, 5 PM—7 PM

Food, Music, Performances, Booths, and More!

All Are Welcome

Co-sponsored by:
Panaghiusa “Unity” Network
Filipino Migrant Center
Filipino Health Workers
Grace UMC
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
Sisters of Gabriela Awaken (SiGAw)
Habi Arts
Anakbayan LA

Filipinos Demand Real Change, Not Aquino’s Chump Change


July 21, 2013

Contact: Rhonda Ramiro, Vice Chair, BAYAN-USA, vc@bayanusa.org

Filipinos Demand Real Change, Not Aquino’s Chump Change: BAYAN-USA Members and Allies to Mark President Aquino’s Annual State of the Nation Address with Protest Actions Across the US

“Instead of three more years of lies and empty promises, the Filipino people deserve true change and their full due,” said Jessica Antonio, BAYAN-USA Secretary General. “In his annual State of the Nation Address, we expect Aquino to recycle the same old lies about economic growth, the straight path, and progress, but the truth is that the vast majority of people are getting poorer while Aquino, the other big landlords and compradors, and foreign powers are getting richer.”

In Aquino’s State of the Nation Address he is expected to make pronouncements about growth in the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, most of the so-called growth in the past quarter is based on temporary fixes that can be attributed to either the elections—with traditional politicians dumping millions into their campaigns—or industries like construction and real estate, which serve foreign companies building commercial spaces for processing and outsourcing businesses such as call centers. In reality, such ventures spell double-jeopardy: they undermine wages for workers in both the first world country where the corporation is based and the Philippines, as well as undercut development of local industry.

In addition, surveys by national polling agencies report that most people consider themselves poor and their situation worse than in previous years. According to the Social Weather Station’s statistics from 2010-12, unemployment in the Philippines increased by 2.7 million people, and the number of people experiencing hunger increased by half a million families (2.5 million people). Furthermore, the National Statistics Office reported underemployment at 7.2 million people, and unpaid family workers at 3.6 million people. The prices of basic commodities and services including water, electricity, oil, transportation fares and food have climbed consistently over the first three years of Aquino’s term, while real wages have stagnated or dropped for most Filipinos.

“How can Aquino claim to be on the path to prosperity, when the ability to live a decent life is out of reach for most families? It’s no wonder that 4,400 Filipinos migrate out of the country everyday,” said Antonio.  “The fact that remittances climbed to a record-high $21.39 billion speaks to the desperation driving people to leave home to do dangerous and demeaning jobs around the world.”

Far from giving precedence to programs that alleviate the suffering of the poor, Aquino’s government has prioritized band-aid approaches and virtual scams that do little more than create the illusion of assistance.  Aquino’s World Bank-funded Conditional Cash Transfer scheme—a discredited program with a history of failure in other third world countries–has had zero impact on poverty, even though more than three million people have received the paltry dole-outs.  Even worse, Aquino’s massive demolitions of urban poor communities for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects have violently displaced and directly intensified the misery of tens of thousands of poor Filipinos, for the benefit of foreign corporations and the biggest businessmen and landlords who are reaping millions in profits from the privatization of public infrastructure and services such as water, energy, and transportation.

“After demolishing their homes and destroying their lives, moguls the likes of Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, Enrique Razon Jr., John Gokongwei Jr., Jaime Zobel de Ayala, George Ty, Roberto Ongpin, and Danding Cojuangco rub salt in the wounds of the poor by jacking up prices of basic public services that people need to survive. Aquino will just be adding insult to injury if he announces plans to continue the PPP,” said Antonio.

With Aquino poised to sign the new Philippines-U.S. bases access accord with the U.S. BAYAN-USA also expects the President to ignore the longstanding affront of Philippine sovereignty by the Visiting Forces Agreement, and cite national security interests to rationalize signing the new agreement. This would allow the U.S. to again park its military vessels and troops on Philippine soil and in its waters in order to advance America’s military pivot to the Asia Pacific region. With 60 percent of U.S. armed forces set to shift from other parts of the world to the Philippines and other countries in the Asia Pacific, the new agreement will open the floodgates to further trampling of Philippine sovereignty, human rights violations committed by U.S. military personnel, and tens of billions of dollars in profits to giants of the military industry, such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and McDonnell Douglas.

“The people aren’t sitting around waiting for scraps from the table of a President and his cronies who feast on the blood and sweat of the Filipino masses,” said Antonio. “BAYAN-USA joins the millions of Filipinos who will be protesting Aquino’s State of the Nation Address and calling for fundamental change—national industrialization, genuine land reform—to result in lasting improvements in the Philippines.  We welcome everyone who believes in true peace and justice and addressing the root causes of the crisis in the Philippines to join us in actions across the U.S. this week.”

BAYAN-USA will be conducting the following activities to mark SONA 2013:

Seattle, Washington
Wednesday, July 17
6:00 PM
Educational Discussion @ Jefferson Park

New York City, New York
Sunday, July 21
3:00 PM – Discussion on the Current State of the Philippines
5:00 PM – People’s Action
@ Bayanihan Community Center
40-21 69th St., Woodside, NY 11377

Los Angeles, California
Monday, July 22
5:30 PM – People’s Action
@ Philippine Consulate
3600 Wilshire Blvd.

San Francisco, California
Monday, July 22
5:30 PM- People’s Action
Union Square, downtown San Francisco


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