People's SONA 2008 in CANADA

 

Montreal      Ottawa    Toronto

 

July 27-28, 2008

 

 

   

Top, left: IFI priest Fr. Art delivers a mass during the Pista sa Nayon event of the Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs (FAMAS). His sermon includes the political line of the People's SONA. The offerings gathered during the mass will go to an urban poor community who were victims of Typhoon Frank in Ilo-Ilo.

 

Top, right: Bayan Canada NOC demo in front of the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa including Canadian Union participation, July 28.

 

Left: People's SONA in Toronto

   
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Photos courtesy of BAYAN - CANADA
       
MONTREAL

PINAY, FWSG & CPC Join Pista sa Nayon


PINAY, FWSG and CPC hand out information flyers in their reserved booth provided by FAMAS organizers to different organizations during the PISTA sa Nayon in Montreal, July 27. The event is attended by more than 1000 people mostly from the Filipino community in Montreal.

 

Tony of FWSG reads message
 

Filipino Workers Support Group member, Tony de Jesus gives a statement about the situation in the Philippines during the Pista sa Nayon community event on July 27 organized by the Filipino Association of Montreal and Suburbs (FAMAS).

 

 

The 2008 State of the Nation Address
of Bogus President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
A Statement by Bayan-Canada National Organizing Committee*
27 July 2008

Whether on Sunday, July 27 or the Monday after, whether in Canada’s west coast gateway, Vancouver, to its capital, Ottawa, and Canada’s financial heartland, Toronto, in between; Bayan-Canada organizations from the west to the province of Quebec, will be holding various events from a People’s Festival, a People’s Worship, and a picket in front of the Philippine Embassy to celebrate the Filipino people’s movement as it struggles for a better future for the Filipino people and international solidarity, and to unmask the glittering falsehoods that will be peddled on July 28 in the Philippine Congress.

As you know, that very day the bogus President of the Republic of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, will be delivering her fantastical state of the nation address. She will stand there before a body that is overwhelmingly made up of ill-gotten millionaires to weave a mendacious tale of advancement for the Filipino people. Ever mindful of the largess out of Macapagal Arroyo’s schemes to cling to the throne, the Philippine Congress will sycophantically grunt at this fool’s gold as their minds wander off to thoughts of another year’s worth of pork barrel.

As the great anti-imperialist author Mark Twain once made popular, there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” No doubt Arroyo will dip frequently into her grab bag of numerical sorcery to chant her incantation that her so-called Medium Term Philippine Development Plan of 2004-2010 is actually working. This kind of plan, premised as it is on the old wives’ tale that subjecting a maldeveloped country’s proto-industries to the brutal competition of a world market dominated at all levels by imperial powers develops that country, has been cliché in the Philippines now for a century. Only a psychotic can believe that doing the same thing again will somehow get different results.

To disabuse us of this notion that any development is actually happening in the Philippines, we need only recall that the National Statistics Office of the Philippine government can actually claim with a straight face that April 2008 unemployment in the Philippines is only 8%. Just to compare, Canada’s unemployment rate is said to be only 6.2% by Statistics Canada. In other words, we are supposed to believe that a country in deep, deep, deep, deep, deep depression and backward maldevelopment has barely worse unemployment than one of the richest countries in the world possibly in the throes of a mild economic contraction?

This staggers the mind and no Filipino, except in the worst bad faith, will believe it. To be fair, perhaps the numbers were conjured by leaving out the fact that last year 1,070,192 Filipinos were deployed abroad as overseas workers, not to mention those that actually emigrated, or did not return after doing some tourism, etc.

The Filipino people know the palpable truth through the ache of their growling stomachs, and the silent emptiness of another loved one in strange foreign lands just so the family might survive another day that the country’s situation is again worsening as it did the year before, and the year before that, and so on. The most accurate way to picture the direction of the Philippine economy is going down stairs. On those rare best of years, when everything goes right, it either does not get worse or it gets just a little worse. This is one of those years in which not only are the Filipino people hit with weekly oil price increases of P1.50, rice prices have already soared by 1/3 and corn prices by 1/5 even as daily minimum wages hover between P345 or P382, or between $8.00 and $9.00 Canadian per day.

As we vow to redouble our efforts to arouse, organize and mobilize the Filipino people in Canada to struggle for a brighter future for the Filipino people overall, and to defend our rights and improve our welfare in Canada; we also call on our Canadian friends to redouble their efforts to arouse, organize and mobilize the Canadian people to pry away the blood-soaked talons of its imperialist state from its loving embrace with the Philippine fascist state.

*Bayan-Canada organizing committees exist in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Contact:bayan.canada.noc@gmail.com

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 


The 2008 Philippine President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA)
Or the Gloria Spin on a Sinking Ship
July 28, 2008
 
On July 28, 2008 Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo gives her yearly State of the Nation Address.  This televised lying session will most probably include the following:
 
   The political crisis her administration faces is caused by external forces that will soon blow away.
   The Philippine economy continues to grow and the Philippines will soon become a “first world” nation.
   The unemployment rate in the Philippines is almost at par with a first world nation like Canada.
   She cares about the poor and will continue her social welfare programs to focus on the hungry masses.
   She has a sparkling human rights record.
   She is the legitimate elected leader of the Philippines.
 
No amount of spin doctoring can cover up the following facts:
 
   Former staunch political allies are lining up to expose her family’s corruption in government.
   She has been linked to numerous scandals including “kickbacks” for her family and cronies.
   The poverty and unemployment rate continues to spike up along with the prices of basic commodities.
   There is a food and energy crisis in the Philippines.
   While Typhoon frank devastated the country and claimed more than 650 lives she spent 1.5 million USD on a junket to the US to visit Bush and watch a Manny Pacquiao boxing match.
   1,070,192 Filipinos left the country last year to work abroad.
   There are more than 1000 victims of political killings and abductions of activists during her presidency.
   More than 60% are dissatisfied with Arroyo making her the most unpopular president in Philippine History.
   Taped conversations with the elections commission head caught her rigging the 2004 presidential elections.
 

It’s time to say:
 
Enough is enough!
Expose Arroyo!
Oppose Arroyo!
Oust Arroyo!
 
 Bayan Canada National Organizing Committee: bayan.canada.noc@gmail.com
Philippine Solidarity Network of Canada:
capcpc@web.ca

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 


THE STATE OF THE NATION, THE STATE OF THE PEOPLE 2008

In the tradition of past Philippine Presidents, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will deliver the State of the Nation address on July 28, 2008.

Similarly, the people will take their State of the People address right into the streets of the many towns and cities in the Philippines.

This is where the reality being played out in the streets meets and belies the fiction being peddled from the Malacañang Palace.

Just what is the state of the people?

The people are hungry. Rice prices continue to go up, from P50 to P70/kilo, depending on the quality of the rice. A common everyday sight is rice line-ups at National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses to buy as little as a kilo of cheap rice.

To extend the rice supply, families mix NFA rice with better quality rice. Overseas Filipinos tell of putting rice

bags inside their door-to-door boxes from Canada to the Philippines. It is ironic that the Philippines, a rice-growing nation, is now the world’s biggest rice importer.

Oil prices are expected to reach P65/liter by the end of July. With the 12% VAT (Value Added Tax), prices have gone up, from food prices to transportation fares to utility bills to tuition fees. Tuition fees are up at all state universities and colleges; at the University of the Philippines, the increase was 300%. An estimated 375 private schools in the Philippines raised their tuition fees. Public school principals report seeing a visible trend of children transferring from the private schools to the public school system.

The people are poor. To meet its basic needs, a family of six needs P806 a day but the daily minimum wage in the National Capital Region is P362, which hardly meets half of the family’s daily cost of living, not even if both father and mother work. More than 83% of the 85 million Filipinos are forced to live with less than Cdn$2 per day.

The people have no jobs. The domestic job crisis and unemployment of 11.3% over the period 2001-2007 is described as the worst 7-year stretch in Philippine history. Consequently, thousands of Filipino men and women are forced to go abroad by the sheer lack of opportunities for decent jobs and livelihood. At the end of 2006, there were 8.2 million Filipinos overseas in 197 countries and territories. The Philippines is the largest among the most migrant- and remittance-dependent countries in the world. Last year, Philippine remittances were US$ 14.5 billion and essentially served to prop up an ailing Philippine economy.

The people are terrorized. Mrs. Arroyo stubbornly ignores the findings and recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial Killings that the Philippine military and its agents are responsible in large part for the systemic pattern of extra-judicial killings and abductions of over 900 men and women from legal people’s organizations in the country. Mrs. Arroyo’s continues to use the “war on terror” to silence legitimate dissent and finds strong support from the US Government in its economic, political and military aid. Over US$160 million has been poured to the Philippines as a reliable Asian ally in the “global war on terror,” making it the 4th largest recipient of US military aid worldwide. The consequence means no let up to the extra-judicial killings, enforced “disappearances” and other human rights abuses against the people.

The government is corrupt. Corruption and fraud involving the First Family, her cronies and other government officials is public knowledge. The scandal over the $329 million ZTE-NBN project has not been resolved and still the government continues its conspicuous and obscene misuse of funds, as evidenced by the junket delegation that went with Mrs. Arroyo to the United States for the State Visit. At a time of severe economic crisis and the disaster caused by the recent storm “Frank,” Mrs. Arroyo surely did not need these many people with her on her trip to the U.S. -- 59 congressmen, 10 cabinet officials and a senator!

In this context of severe economic and political crises, the immoral and corrupt Arroyo government has lost its authority to rule the country. This is the government that bows to the needs and interests of the multinational businesses before that of the people, a government that sells the national patrimony to big foreign mining corporations, including Canadian mining firms. Beholden to U.S. and other foreign interests, the Arroyo government refuses to institute genuine and comprehensive agrarian reform and national industrialization that will develop Philippine domestic capacity in terms of production, technology, job creation, capital accumulation and self-sufficiency. The people who take to the streets to fight for their basic rights to food, life, jobs, security and sovereignty are met with repression by the very same government that is supposed to take care of their interests.

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights extend its solidarity and support to the Filipino people’s struggle for their basic rights and their vision for a just and humane society.
We support the people’s call to oust a President who has lost its moral and legal authority to rule. We continue to call on the Canadian government to review its development assistance to, and security cooperation with the Arroyo government to ensure that these do not aggravate the current human rights situation.


Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
Vancouver, Canada
July 27, 2008
#

 

 
OTTAWA

Bayan Canada orgs and Philippine solidarity groups present in Ottawa:
PINAY - Montreal, Filipino Workers Support Group - Montreal, Pilipinong Migrante sa Canada (Ottawa), Migrante Ontario, Migrante Quebec, Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Centre for Philippine Concerns - Montreal

For the Philippine labour sector, ILPS and IMA please take note of the following:

Supporting organizations and solidarity friends:
International League of People's Struggle - Canada, International Migrants Alliance - Canada, Solidarity Across Borders - Montreal, representatives from Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) International Dept.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
         
         
TORONTO
       

 

THE STATE OF THE NATION, THE STATE OF THE PEOPLE 2008

Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
Vancouver, Canada
July 27, 2008

In the tradition of past Philippine Presidents, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will deliver the State of the Nation address on July 28, 2008.

Similarly, the people will take their State of the People address right into the streets of the many towns and cities in the Philippines.

This is where the reality being played out in the streets meets and belies the fiction being peddled from the Malacañang Palace.

Just what is the state of the people?

The people are hungry. Rice prices continue to go up, from P50 to P70/kilo, depending on the quality of the rice. A common everyday sight is rice line-ups at National Food Authority (NFA) warehouses to buy as little as a kilo of cheap rice.

To extend the rice supply, families mix NFA rice with better quality rice. Overseas Filipinos tell of putting rice

bags inside their door-to-door boxes from Canada to the Philippines. It is ironic that the Philippines, a rice-growing nation, is now the world’s biggest rice importer.

Oil prices are expected to reach P65/liter by the end of July. With the 12% VAT (Value Added Tax), prices have gone up, from food prices to transportation fares to utility bills to tuition fees. Tuition fees are up at all state universities and colleges; at the University of the Philippines, the increase was 300%. An estimated 375 private schools in the Philippines raised their tuition fees. Public school principals report seeing a visible trend of children transferring from the private schools to the public school system.

The people are poor. To meet its basic needs, a family of six needs P806 a day but the daily minimum wage in the National Capital Region is P362, which hardly meets half of the family’s daily cost of living, not even if both father and mother work. More than 83% of the 85 million Filipinos are forced to live with less than Cdn$2 per day.

The people have no jobs. The domestic job crisis and unemployment of 11.3% over the period 2001-2007 is described as the worst 7-year stretch in Philippine history. Consequently, thousands of Filipino men and women are forced to go abroad by the sheer lack of opportunities for decent jobs and livelihood. At the end of 2006, there were 8.2 million Filipinos overseas in 197 countries and territories. The Philippines is the largest among the most migrant- and remittance-dependent countries in the world. Last year, Philippine remittances were US$ 14.5 billion and essentially served to prop up an ailing Philippine economy.

The people are terrorized. Mrs. Arroyo stubbornly ignores the findings and recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial Killings that the Philippine military and its agents are responsible in large part for the systemic pattern of extra-judicial killings and abductions of over 900 men and women from legal people’s organizations in the country. Mrs. Arroyo’s continues to use the “war on terror” to silence legitimate dissent and finds strong support from the US Government in its economic, political and military aid. Over US$160 million has been poured to the Philippines as a reliable Asian ally in the “global war on terror,” making it the 4th largest recipient of US military aid worldwide. The consequence means no let up to the extra-judicial killings, enforced “disappearances” and other human rights abuses against the people.

The government is corrupt. Corruption and fraud involving the First Family, her cronies and other government officials is public knowledge. The scandal over the $329 million ZTE-NBN project has not been resolved and still the government continues its conspicuous and obscene misuse of funds, as evidenced by the junket delegation that went with Mrs. Arroyo to the United States for the State Visit. At a time of severe economic crisis and the disaster caused by the recent storm “Frank,” Mrs. Arroyo surely did not need these many people with her on her trip to the U.S. -- 59 congressmen, 10 cabinet officials and a senator!

In this context of severe economic and political crises, the immoral and corrupt Arroyo government has lost its authority to rule the country. This is the government that bows to the needs and interests of the multinational businesses before that of the people, a government that sells the national patrimony to big foreign mining corporations, including Canadian mining firms. Beholden to U.S. and other foreign interests, the Arroyo government refuses to institute genuine and comprehensive agrarian reform and national industrialization that will develop Philippine domestic capacity in terms of production, technology, job creation, capital accumulation and self-sufficiency. The people who take to the streets to fight for their basic rights to food, life, jobs, security and sovereignty are met with repression by the very same government that is supposed to take care of their interests.

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights extend its solidarity and support to the Filipino people’s struggle for their basic rights and their vision for a just and humane society.
We support the people’s call to oust a President who has lost its moral and legal authority to rule. We continue to call on the Canadian government to review its development assistance to, and security cooperation with the Arroyo government to ensure that these do not aggravate the current human rights situation.


Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights
Vancouver, Canada
July 27, 2008 #
 

     
     
     
     
     
       
       
       

 

 
 

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