People's campaign to abolish all forms of pork barrel

and expose and oppose all forms of corruption in the Aquino Regime

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Filipinos unite! Abolish the pork barrel system! Punish the plunderers!
A call to action

September 3, 2013

We, ordinary citizens and all taxpayers, are outraged by the shameless plunder and misuse of public funds as so far revealed by the P10 billion Napoles pork barrel scam and COA audits on the congressional pork barrel funds.

We denounce the way the pork barrel system has made a sham of the supposed system of checks and balances between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. We likewise decry how legitimate NGOs have been wrongfully tainted by this wholesale corruption.

Despite the widespread public outcry for the abolition of all forms of pork barrel funds, President Aquino continues to disregard his " bosses" and persists in retaining the system of discretionary, lump sum appropriations for individual members of Congress and the Chief Executive in the national budget, although with a new mechanism for its release.

We demand the abolition of the pork barrel system and the direct allocation of taxpayers' money and other public funds to public hospitals, schools, public housing and other social services. We must remove the discretionary power of individual politicians and government officials over such funds for greater transparency and accountability.

Inspired by our people's dramatic and widespread participation in the August 26 Million People March and guided by its calls, we pledge to keep up the pressure on the government to:
1) Abolish the pork barrel system;
2) Prosecute all the guilty parties including all conniving senators, congressmen, other public officials and bogus NGOs;
3) Allocate pork barrel funds to social services.

These critical demands should be addressed by government with full transparency.

We call on our fellow Filipinos to participate in the various actions and initiatives for this purpose most especially the big protest actions on September 13, 3pm and September 21 at the Luneta.

Together, let us fight for a government of, by and for the people.  Let us stand in solidarity and demand justice and accountability: Abolish the pork barrel system now!

INITIAL SIGNATORIES:

 

Mother Mary John Mananzan OSB, Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change

Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, Pagbabago! People's Movement for Change

Fr. Marlon Lacal, Association of Major Religious Superiors

Fr. Joe Dizon, Solidarity Philippines

Henri Kahn, Concerned Citizens Movement

Victor Villanueva, Youth Act Now!

Marco Vicencio, Youth Revolt

Mae Paner, Juana Change Movement

Monette Silvestre

Katrina Stuart-Santiago, radikalchick.com

Tonyo Cruz, tonyocruz.com

Engr. Jun Lozada, NBN-ZTE Deal whistleblower

Sandra Cam, Whistleblowers Association

Col. George Rabosa, AFP whistleblower

Former Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian, AFP whistleblower

Atty. MelchorMagdamo, Comelec whistleblower

Chester Arcille, University of the Philippines, Manila*

Dr. June P. Lopez, UP College of Medicine*

Marion Tan, University of the Philippines, Diliman*

Fr. Bong Sarabia, Adamson University*

Carmen Seriňa, St. Theresa's College*

Dr. ButchingPaterno, UP College of Medicine*

Wacky Torres, UP Laya Football Club

Sr. Rizalyn Solitario, RMCICM

Fr. Rex Reyes, National Council of Churches in the Philippines

Renato Reyes, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan

Bishop Reul Marigza, United Church of Christ of the Philippines

Bishop Elmer Bolocon, Ecumenical Bishops Forum

Patricia Santos, College Editors Guild of the Philippines

Prof. Sarah Raymundo, UP Faculty for the Abolition of the Pork Barrel System

UP Student Regent Krista Melgarejo, UP Scrap the Pork Alliance

Menchu Sarmiento, BABALA! (Babae Laban sa Katiwalian)

Rev. Marie Sol Villalon, Promotion of Church People's Response

Walkie Mirana, Concerned Artists of the Philippines

Edwin dela Torre, Emerging Artists Collective

Diane Zapata, Bikers Against Baboy System (BABS)

Atty. Rey Cortez, National Union of People's Lawyers

Dr. Eleanor Jara, Council for Health and Development

Satur Ocampo, Makabayan Coalition

Noel Cabrera, Kapatiran Party

 

* For identification purposes only

Sign the online petition here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1uHZnVV7qtuuO0wK795jsUVb0TGaBnlVTz6RVoxeSiDk/viewform

 

PGH to Luneta March 
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

On corruption and mass protests:
Interview with Prof. Jose Ma. Sison
by Ilang-Ilang D. Quijano


Three years into the administration of Benigno S. Aquino III, the still unraveling multi-billion pork barrel scam is the biggest scandal to hit a presidency that claims to stand for “clean governance.” The involvement of senators, congressmen, and even Palace officials in the scam, as well as Aquino’s refusal to abolish the pork barrel system, led to a massive street protest last August 26, attended by hundreds of thousands of Filipinos from all walks of life. It is clear that the people want justice, and an end to government corruption. But how can such be achieved?

Pinoy Weekly interviewed Prof. Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), on his thoughts on corruption and the mass protests spawned by the pork barrel scam. The NDFP, which wages a struggle for national democracy, has consistently held the view that corruption is systemic in a government controlled by the ruling classes, a root problem that it calls ”bureaucrat capitalism” in Philippine society.

Pinoy Weekly (PW): As someone who has closely followed social and political developments in the Philippines, what is your take on the recent explosion of protests nationwide calling for the abolition of the pork barrel system?

Jose Ma. Sison (JMS): The broad masses of the people are outraged by the huge proportions of the corruption in the pork barrel system and have engaged in protest mass actions nationwide to call for the abolition of the pork barrel system.

The popular sense of outrage is intensified by the exposure of the Aquino regime as a hypocrite, pretending to be honest and clean, supposedly on the straight path, while covering up the continuity and aggravation of corruption in the ruling system.

PW: Where do you think these protests would lead to?

JMS: The protests should become sustained, more widespread and more militant to expose the corruption of the Aquino regime in the use of the pork barrel system and in other forms of corruption and to call for the ouster of the regime and punishment of the corrupt in both the executive and legislative departments.

The people should struggle to condemn the entire rotten ruling system and demand a fundamentally better social system of national independence and genuine democracy, liberated from foreign monopoly capitalism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.

PW: Do you think the President and Congress, both the Lower and Upper Houses, would concede and seriously abolish the pork barrel system? Would this not, in effect, curtail the powers of the executive and legislative branches of government? Assuming that they do, what would the impact be on the current political system?

JMS: The President and Congress resist the people’s demand to abolish the pork barrel system. And they will always find ways of satisfying each other’s greed by adopting general terms for lump sum appropriations which allow sharing of the spoils of power. For instance, they will use reasonable lump sum appropriations for natural disaster relief to argue for and justify many unjustifiable lump appropriations.

The current trend is for the President to monopolize the pork barrel, stay as the pork barrel king and make the senators and congressmen pass through the loyalty test to get their share of the loot. The pork barrel system is a way for the ruling politicians to recoup their investments in electoral contests and to further enrich themselves.

PW: Do you share the views of others that the Napoles scam is just the tip of the iceberg? On the other hand, how far do you think would the government go in prosecuting Napoles and her cohorts especially in Congress?

JMS: I share the view with Solita Monsod and others that the Napoles scam is just a tip of the iceberg. This involves some Php 10 billion involving a number of years. It is just a part of the current Php 25 billion pork barrel for Congress and the colossal Php 1.3 to 1.5 trillion pork barrel of the President.

It remains to be seen whether the Aquino regime will really go after Napoles and the senators and congressmen who are her accomplices in inventing fake projects and using fake NGOs. Napoles has been arrested for illegal detention and not for the pork barrel scam.
PW: How do you think would the pork barrel scam impact on President Aquino’s ‘matuwid na daan’ campaign?

JMS: The pork barrel scam has implicated Aquino as the pork barrel king. The Napoles scam has gone on for years with the complicity of executive officials in the Aquino regime. Look at the way they have exposed themselves in arranging the so-called surrender of Napoles and the royal treatment given to her.

The matuwid na daan slogan of Aquino is itself a scam. It is a swindle. But unwittingly, Aquino has admitted that corruption has become bigger under his regime because the poor have increased tremendously.

PW: Some sectors, including political scientists themselves, believe that the problem is not so much the pork barrel system but its misuse; and that the pork barrel has to some degree served the needs of constituents such as access to medical, livelihood and other social needs. So why not institute controls, rather than abolish it?

JMS: In a system that truly serves the people, the funds should go to the departments, agencies and institutions concerned for clear and specific purposes, such as industrial projects for the purpose of development, assistance to production cooperatives, livelihood projects and such social services as health, education, social housing and so on.

The President no less should be prevented from stealing and using public funds for political patronage under the cover of lump sum appropriations and sole discretion with no effective oversight and restraint. Actually even the special purpose funds for the congressional pork barrel are under the control of the President. His executive department is complicit with Napoles and her congressional partners.

PW: Corruption in the bureaucracy has always been endemic. Even so-called socialist countries have their share in corruption. So how, from the NDFP’s point of view, could corruption be prevented, curtailed or abolished?

JMS: Corruption in the bureaucracy of the big comprador-landlord state is indeed endemic. This is called bureaucrat capitalism. The politicians of the big compradors and landlords use their public offices as their own private enterprises for self-enrichment. In truly socialist societies, corruption is ended. But when revisionist bureaucrat capitalists take over, they engage in corruption and cause social retrogression on the road of capitalism.

Proletarian revolutionaries should learn how to prevent revisionism and bureaucrat capitalism from arising in socialist societies. Mao has provided the theory and initial practice of using mass supervision, mass actions and the cultural revolution to prevent revisionism and the restoration of capitalism. Corruption is not an incurable disease. It thrives most where class exploitation is the rule and is systematically carried out by the imperialists, big compradors, landlords and high bureaucrats.

From: PinoyWeekly
http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2013/09/on-corruption-and-mass-protests-interview-jose-ma-sison/#sthash.mjxD0FjD.dpuf

 

 

Click here to play video interview


 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

PRESS RELEASE
September 3, 2013

Reference: FR. JOE DIZON, Pagbabago Spokesperson (09209081994)

Citizens urge Bishops to issue call on pork barrel

Various groups and citizens critical to the pork barrel system appeal to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to take a stand and issue a collective position on the pork barrel system.

In a letter addressed to Archbishop Jose S. Palma, D.D., President of CBCP, leaders of groups such as the National Discernment Group, Religious Discernment Group, Workers Assistance Center, Pagbabago and other church institutions and parishes appealed for the Bishops’ “collective position on the issue reflecting the people's sentiments. This position can be the necessary moral compass we the people need now and for which we look to you our moral leaders.”

“We recognize the important role our Bishops could play in the people’s opposition to the pork barrel system,” said Fr. Joe Dizon, one of the letter’s signatories and Pagbabago spokesperson.

The signatories also stated in the letter their categorical position on the pork barrel issue.

“Our people have spoken against this massive abuse of our public funds by demanding: Abolish pork barrel in all its forms; Investigate and prosecute all those involved in these crimes against the people; rechannel pork barrel funds to the basic services needed by our people.”

The CBCP is expected to hold its permanent council meeting today. While several bishops have already issued their individual positions on the pork barrel issue, the CBCP has yet to make a statement.

Several anti-pork barrel groups are also se to meet today to unite as a movement and plan the next big rally against the pork barrel system.

“The people were not easily fooled with the President’s announcement on the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund. We are steadfast in our position that all pork barrel should be scrapped –both the Congressional and Presidential pork funds,” Fr. Dizon said.

Citing the arrest of Janet L. Napoles, Pagbabago called on the government to immediately file charges against her in connection to the pork barrel scam. “She and those officials who conspired with her should be punished for stealing from the nation’s coffers.”

Fr. Dizon said his group has been in communication with other groups who joined the August 26 Luneta march, and they decided to come together to organize another rally to sustain the call for the abolition of the pork barrel system. ###

http://www.pagbabago.org/article/2013/09/03/citizens-urge-bishops-issue-call-pork-barrel

 

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[On August 26, Pagbabago, health workers, doctors, students and members of the academe will gather 9am at PGH-Taft Avenue, and will march to Kilometer 0, Luneta]

Reference: Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, Pagbabago Co-Chairperson (09167829666)

Let us wage a relentless fight against corruption. Abolish the Pork Barrel.

Pagbabago! People's Movement joins our countrymen in the call to abolish all “pork barrel”, arrest and prosecute all executive officials, legislators, Janet Napoles and her cohorts involved in the P10B pork barrel scam, and punish the guilty .

We are appalled that both houses of Congress have been refusing to investigate a scam of such grand scale even with many of their members implicated, and how Malacañang could turn a blind eye and defend the pork barrel system, including its own “pork”. The Aquino administration’s inaction goes directly against its claims of “daang matuwid.” Malacañang’s announcement of the suspension of the release of the Congressional pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) is too little, too late and smacks of an attempt to douse cold water onto growing public outrage.

The scam only serves to validate and reinforce the people's common belief that big-time corruption is rampant and unchecked in all branches, agencies and levels of government, and that public funds easily drain into the deep pockets of politicians and their agents, while the majority of our people live in poverty and hunger, deprived of essential socio-economic services that should be funded by the government.

It only reveals to us how deep and widespread corruption could go with the pork barrel. The pork barrel is inherently anomalous since it is a lump sum amount disbursed at the whim of elective and appointive officials in government, unchecked, unregulated and without accountability. So we assert that all forms of pork - whether it is Congressional PDAF, discretionary funds of the Office of the President and other lump sum funds in the budget - must be abolished.

The amount of public funds that go to “pork” belie the assumption that government lacks the resources to provide for basic social services such as education, health, housing and disaster prevention, mitigation, relief and rehabilitation. Meanwhile, this erroneous assumption is being used to justify the Aquino administration's privatization of social services via the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.

The PPP is also battered with corrupt schemes and practices, insidious as they may be: the transactional politics involving Malacañang and its negotiators for project contracts; patronage politics with Malacañang awarding contracts to favored parties; and public funds being diverted to PPP projects for risk guarantees and the servicing of debt contracted by private “partners”. Billions of pesos of “pork” should be allocated instead to public hospitals, school buildings, mass housing, efficient public transport, and other services that would be beneficial to tens of millions of Filipinos.

The “daang matuwid” rhetoric is under fire as a sham with the Aquino administration refusing to act on proposed thoroughgoing reforms in governance such as laws on the freedom of information, protection of whistleblowers, and now, the abolition of both Congressional and Presidential pork barrel. It certainly appears that the Aquino administration is in reality the biggest cog in this entire corruption-ridden government machinery. ###

 

Liwasan Bonifacio to Luneta March 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Bayan : Aquino and #abolishpork protesters NOT on same side
Posted on 27 August 2013 by admin

News Release August 27, 2013

 

The president is getting more desperate each day.

 

This was the observation of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan as it slammed President Benigno Aquino III for attempting to hijack the massive people’s protest against corruption last August 26 by saying that the Palace and the protesters are on the same side.

 

“The biggest joke of the day is the one about the President and the #abolishpork protesters being on the same side. Saan kaya kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha ng ang Pangulo? If this is true, why is it that the people still protested despite Aquino’s announcement abolishing the PDAF last week? Why is it that the people have constantly mocked Aquino’s rebranded itemized pork? It’s because we were never on the same side to begin with and pork was never abolished,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

 

“The massive protest yesterday, the first of its kind under the Aquino regime, is incontrovertible proof that the people are not falling for Aquino’s lies and spin. Aquino must think us for fools but we proved him wrong on Monday. Tens of thousands protested nationwide including overseas to demand the Aquino government to abolish all pork and to hold accountable those involved in the scam,” he added.

 

Bayan said that Palace spin-doctors are in damage control mode after the President has for the first time been isolated on the basis of an issue. The August 26 rally brought in people from communities, church groups, schools, cause-oriented groups, labor, and different professions. It was a broad array of forces on one side and an isolated president and his fellow pork defenders on the other side, according to Bayan.

 

The group said that more protests should be readied as Malacanang continues to defy the people’s clamor for the abolition of pork. It also pointed out that Aquino’s refusal to scrap congressional pork is borne out his desire to hold on to his own presidential pork, including some P450 billion in Special Purpose Funds.

 

Bayan said that the upcoming Senate hearings on the pork barrel scam should also be occasions to press for accountability on the issue. Protests are also being readied for these hearings. ### -

 

See more at:

http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/08/bayan-aquino-and-abolishpork-protesters-not-on-same-side/#sthash.Qg5cx8Uw.dpuf

 

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No stopping August 26 anti-pork mobilization – BAYAN
Posted on 25 August 2013 by admin

News Release August 25, 2013

 

Protesters from all walks including netizens who utilized social media to drumbeat the call for the abolition of pork are all set or the much-anticipated rally on Monday.

 

“There will be no stopping the people on August 26,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said. “The day of outrage against the pork barrel system and corruption will be a powerful political statement directed at the Aquino regime’s refusal to scrap pork.”

 

Many rally participants are unconvinced with President Aquino’s speech mentioning the abolition of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF. “The people are not buying Aquino’s “abolish pork” ruse,” said Reyes. Referring to even more anti-pork groups formed and myriad posts in social media reacting to the President’s speech last Friday, Reyes said that people have even given the new pork many names “via a spontaneous outburst of political humor that clearly mocked the presidential announcement.”

 

Bayan chair Carol Araullo said that the Aquino government will try hard to spin the message of the August 26 event, even to the extent of making the protest appear supportive of the President.

 

 “The Palace spin-doctors are spreading the illusion that the Aquino government and the people can work together to make ‘pork’ more palatable and less corrupt. Aquino tries to hide the fact that he has the biggest pork of all, at least P312 to P450 billion, and that his re-branded PDAF will only result in greater powers for the Executive branch,” Araullo said.

 

“In fact, Aquino has no intentions of scrapping the PDAF as well as his own presidential pork because Aquino relies on patronage politics, being a representative of elite politics himself, The lines have clearly been draw the day Aquino said he will retain the pork barrel system,” she said.

 

The Bayan leader said that the Left has long been fighting against bureaucratic corruption with militant legislators being the first to declare that they will not be accessing their PDAF as they struggle for its abolition. “We definitely support the broad call for a people’s action. Let it be a day of outrage against impunity. Let the voice of the people be heard all the way to Malacanang,” Araullo added.

 

Reyes called on everyone to come out in huge numbers to demand the total abolition of congressional and presidential pork and to demand accountability for all those involved up to the present regime.”

 

Different sectors will be trooping to various points of Manila at 9am before marching to Luneta. Some will be converging at Liwasang Bonifacio. Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change spearheaded by the religious sector, the academe and health advocates will be massing-up at the Philippine General Hospital along Taft Avenue. Women’s organizations belonging to “Kababaihan Laban sa Pork Barrel” (BABALA) will gather at Plaza Salamangka along Kalaw Avenue. Bikers groups from different parts of Metro Manila are also expected to converge in Luneta.

 

After the Luneta rally, Bayan announced that it would lead a march to Mendiola where it plans to end its program. Bayan’s chapters abroad, as

early as Sunday have already initiated actions against the pork barrel system. ### -

 

See more at: http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/08/no-stopping-august-26-anti-pork-mobilization-bayan/#sthash.hrrE6EiW.dpuf

 

 

 

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Pork by any name is still pork– Bayan
 

Posted on 23 August 2013 by admin

Press Statement
August 23, 2013
Renato Reyes, Jr. BAYAN Sec- Gen

President Aquino’s press con today merely sought to preempt the Aug26 day of outrage against pork and corruption by pledging the abolition of the PDAF system and replacing it with a new “reformed”system.
 

To Mr. Aquino, pork by any name is still pork.
 

Aquino expectedly did not move to abolish presidential pork which is much larger than the PDAF, at least P450 billion by some estimates. The same will still be used to perpetuate patronage politics, well into the 2016 presidential elections.
 

Aquino again misleads the nation with promises of reform while retaining the very corrupt system of patronage politics that pork represents. The protest on Monday must push through to call for the abolition of all congressional and presidential pork and for accountability not just of Napoles but all officials involved up to the present Aquino government. We call on the people to come out and join the protests on August 26. Tuloy ang laban!
 

- See more at: http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/08/pork-by-any-name-is-still-pork-bayan/#sthash.lqIsRDp9.dpuf

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           


Pork Barrel I
Ni Kislap Alitaptap

Pilit na kinatas sa mga katawang nagsisikap
Otomatikong kinakaltas sa sahura’y mamamalas
Resibong iyong hawak tingnan mo’t may VAT
Kinatas sa’ting paghihirap sila ang lumasap.

Bilyon-bilyon ay kanilang tinadtad-tadtad
Ang bawat pisong pilak ay hindi na mahanap
Resibo’y walang pangalang nakasulat
Repormang pantawid hirap ay kanilang dinugas
Engrandeng piging! Halakhak nilang mandurugas
Linta silang nakakapit sa ating mga balat! #

 


Pork Barrel II
Ni Kislap Alitaptap

Pork chop,
Masarap iihaw
At sa toyo’y isawsaw.

Pork sinigang,
Nababagay sa kaning bahaw
Ang maasim na sabaw.

Pork monggo,
Pampainit
Sa maulang Sabado.

 

 


Pork adobo,
Pagkasimba
Para kumpleto ang Linggo.

Pork barrel,
Kailanma’y
Hindi mo malalasahan,

Kailanma’y
Hindi mo matitikman.
Hindi kailanman,

Ipagtunaw mo man
Ito ng kandilang dilaw
Sa bawat simbahan. #

 

 

           
           
     
 
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Aquino slammed for clinging to pork
Posted on 20 August 2013 by admin
News Release
August 20, 2013
 

President Benigno Aquino III won’t give up pork. Protesters won’t give up.
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today slammed the President for his stubborn refusal to abolish the corrupt pork barrel system. The group said Aquino’s statement provided more reason for the people to go out on August 26 and protest the multi-billion peso scam which has involved several politicians and questionable NGOs .
 

Bayan is calling on its provincial and regional chapters to also ]hold actions on August 26 in what has been brewing as a call that began online and will soon spill on the streets. The group will also hold noise barrages this week in Metro Manila.
 

“The president has made his position clear. It’s time that we make ours even clearer by going to the streets on August 26 and as united Filipinos call for the abolition of all forms of pork barrel and for the accountability of all those involved in the scam. With Aquino’s latest statement, it is important that the demands of the August 26 event be sharply addressed to the President himself,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
 

“The President is making all sorts of excuses for keeping the corrupt pork barrel system. Nagpapalusot na naman ang Pangulo. Contrary to what Aquino is saying, a system that is motivated by patronage politics cannot be reformed. It cannot be good. From the COA report alone, 12 senators and 180 congressmen had funds endorsed to questionable NGO’s. Isn’t that proof enough that the problem is systemic?” Reyes said.
 

“Pork barrel is not indispensable especially when it comes to delivering services. Billions of pesos can be channelled directly to the budget for social services, away from the reach of unscrupulous politicians and their dummy NGOs,” he added.
 

Bayan said that the massive flooding that happened in various parts of Luzon, despite millions of pork barrel funds used for so-called flood control projects, further highlights problems with the system.
 

“Mr. President, hundreds of thousands are affected by the floods in a time when lawmakers and top officials are being accused of pocketing public funds. Yet you insult the people by clinging on to pork and justifying to death its anomalous existence,” Reyes said.
 

Posturing only
 

Bayan also criticized Aquino’s posturing that PDAF allocations will be withheld pending the investigation of suspect Janet Lim Napoles. Aquino cited the need to plug certain loopholes in the system before funds are released.
“Aquino’s statement is meant to appease an angry public into thinking that reforms are being done. What they are in fact doing is waiting for the anger to subside before releasing their congressional and presidential lump sums,” Reyes said.
 

The group also said that while the COA report from 2007-2009 exposed the scope and depth of the corruption in the pork barrel system, the report only showed part of the picture.
 

“The people need to see the audit of the 2010-2012 period, under the Aquino regime. This will show that the disbursement patterns have not changed at all. The practice is the same even under the so-called ‘daang matuwid,” Reyes said.
 

August 26 affirmed
 

“Whether you’re going as a group or as an individual, the important thing is to stand and be counted. It is time that the online outrage be translated into offline and real-world action. It is a time for national solidarity. It is a time for coming together,” the Bayan leader said.###
 

- See more at: http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/08/aquino-slammed-for-clinging-to-pork/#sthash.BGHDdooh.dpuf

 

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Bayan slams Congress inaction over PDAF scam
Posted on 12 August 2013 by admin
News Release
August 12, 2013
 

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today criticized the House of Representatives and Senate for refusing to conduct an inquiry into the multi-billion peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
“President Benigno Aquino and the leaders of Congress are one in showing indifference to this major corruption scandal. Both Congress and the Executive are not keen in getting to the bottom of the scam. Both Congress and the Executive have justified the existence of their respective pork barrel funds despite the serious allegations of corruption,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
 

“For Malacanang and Congress, it’s business as usual. They do not care about the people’s growing anger over large-scale and institutionalized plunder of government funds. Both Aquino and his Liberal Party allies in the House of Representatives and the Senate would only be so happy if the issue died tomorrow. Aquino’s cheerleaders in Akbayan also support the House Speaker’s move not to probe the PDAF scam. Those who refuse to probe the scam are complicit in its cover up,” Reyes added.
 

Last week, Aquino also sought to downplay the scam by saying that the amount involved was smaller compared to the corruption during the time of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
 

Bayan has called for protests against what it decried as “systematic, institutionalized plunder of public funds” in the PDAF.
 

“The ruling elite are covering up for each other in a most shameless manner. During the time of Gloria Arroyo, it was Congress that sought to investigate while Malacanang stonewalled the efforts. Now, both Malacanang and Congress are in agreement to downplay and cover up the issue. We definitely cannot leave this matter to the discretion of the politicians. The people have to act to pressure government into decisively addressing the issue. This includes probing those involved in the scam and abolishing congressional and presidential pork,” Reyes said.
 

“The Aquino regime is defending the corrupt system. This regime is in favor of patronage politics and systemic corruption. Walang pagbabago. There is no daang matuwid. There is only the desire to accumulate more power and to preserve the status quo,” the Bayan leader added. ###
 

- See more at: http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/08/bayan-slams-congress-inaction-over-pdaf-scam/#sthash.JFsW0XFo.dpuf

 

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Bigger test for DOJ is still PDAF scam
Posted on 15 August 2013 by admin

Press Statement
August 15, 2013
 

The arrest warrant issued against Janet Napoles for serious illegal detention is just an initial step in making her accountable. The bigger test for the Department of Justice is still the multi-billion peso PDAF scam, and whether those involved, including allies of the Aquino administration, will be held to account.
 

As calls for the abolition of congressional and presidential pork mount, the people await the results of the probe conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation. It remains to be seen if Napoles and the politicians and other government officials who disbursed the PDAF will actually be charged for the scam.
 

What is disturbing is that President Aquino’s allies in both chambers of Congress have refused to open any probe into the conduct of the PDAF disbursements. Congress has become complicit in the Napoles cover up. Even more alarming is the consistent defense by Aquino of congressional and presidential pork, whose amounts have increased in the 2014 budget, PDAF scam notwithstanding. The “daang matuwid” slogan is again exposed as mere empty rhetoric when those in power refuse to give up their pork.
 

We call on the people to continue pressing for the abolition of all forms of congressional and presidential pork barrel and discretionary funds. We demand that these funds be rechanneled to public services such as health, education and housing among others. We demand that those responsible for plunder be made fully accountable. ###
 

- See more at: http://www.bayan.ph/site/2013/08/bigger-test-for-doj-is-still-pdaf-scam/#sthash.uy7ljkqy.dpuf

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
UP to Liwasan/Luneta Caravan 
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
Program at the Luneta:
BAYAN and PAGBABAGO groups

 

 

 

PAHAYAG NG UPCSWCD
22 Agosto 2013

TANGGALIN ANG PORK BARREL NGAYON NA!
PONDOHAN ANG MGA BATAYANG SERBISYONG PANLIPUNAN!

Nakikiisa ang Kolehiyo ng Gawaing Panlipunan at Pagpapaunlad ng Pamayanan (CSWCD) ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (UP) sa mga miyembro ng faculty, staff, estudyante at alumni ng UP na mariing nagkokondena sa walang pakundangang paglulustay ng pera ng bayan sa mga bogus na NGO at proyekto gaya ng ipinahihiwatig ng tinatawag na P10-bilyong Napoles scam. Bilyun-bilyong piso ang inilalaan sa Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) ng mga senador at congressmen ngunit walang linaw kung paano ito nagagasta kayat nagiging oportunidad para sa walang habas na pandaraya at pandarambong.

Mayroon din ibang malalaking pondo na ang tawag ay lump sum appropriation ng mga ahensiya ng gobyerno, kasama na ang ehekutibo, na hindi alam kung ano at saan ang pupuntahan.

Ang ganitong sitwasyon ay tunay na nakakapanlumo, nakakaiyak at nakakagalit lalo na sa konteksto ng laganap na kagutuman at kasalatan ng mahihirap na Pilipino. Ngayon ay dagdag pang hagupit ang pananalanta ng mga bagyo at pagbaha.

Sa harap ng ganitong kalagayan ay malinaw ang tuwid na landas na dapat tahakin ng lahat ng mamamayang Pilipinong may malasakit sa Inang Bayan. Di dapat palampasin ang tahasang pagtalikod sa matitinding pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayan at garapal na paglustay ng pondong dapat sila ang nakinabang.

Dapat imbestigahan at parusahan ang lahat ng maysala!
Dapat suportahan ang panukalang batas para sa pagtatanggal ng sistemang pork barrel! Isabay na rin dito ang pagtatanggal ng lump sum appropriation ng lahat ng ahensiya ng gobyerno!

Dapat gamitin ang pondong nakalaan sa pork barrel (P25.4 bilyon para sa taong 2014) at sa mga lump sum appropriation sa mga batayang serbisyong panlipunan para sa kalusugan, edukasyon, pabahay, mass transport, imprastruktura sa kanayunan, at reporma sa lupa!

Lumahok tayo sa sama-samang pagkilos ng pamayanan ng UP at sa pamayanang binubuo ng lahat ng mga Pilipinong naghahangad ng isang malinis na pamahalaang nananagot sa lahat ng kanyang gawain at gastusin, at tumutugon sa mga pangangailangan at hinaing ng mga maralita at nasasantabi sa lipunan.

 

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Marching On: UP Community for the Abolition of the Presidential and Congressional Pork Barrel System
August 24, 2013 at 7:33pm
August 26, 2013

We, the University of the Philippines community, strongly condemn the deceitful and misleading announcement of President Aquino to "abolish" the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and to institute, in its place, a supposedly "new" mechanism for allocation. This is a clear attempt to pacify and diffuse the just anger of the people and their clamor for the abolition of the pork barrel system and the rechanneling of funds to basic social services. In fact, PNoy's proposal is by no means an abolition of the PDAF; rather, it is a sugarcoated reform of the inherently flawed pork barrel system. It drowns the more substantive problems of graft and corruption and patronage politics that result from this system. Worse, it conveniently leaves the president's Special Purpose Funds, amounting to at least 310.1B, untouched, even increasing his discretionary power in the management of national funds.

In PNoy's proposal, the congressional pork barrel (PDAF) will merely be repackaged, such that the Congress will continue to be at the behest of the Department of Budget and Management and the Office of the President. In the guise of transparency, the proposal actually places the PDAF under the stricter and more direct control of the President, making legislators more beholden to Malacanang. This farce is by no means an "abolition" but a perpetuation of the pork barrel system: it fortifies patronage politics both at the presidential and local levels, and violates constitutional principles by blurring the lines between the executive and legislative functions of government.

We are calling for just distribution and rechanneling of funds to basic social services, NOT a rehashed pork barrel system that is even more vulnerable to corruption. These funds must be allocated through public agencies such as public hospitals, state universities and colleges, public schools, salary upgrading of teachers and government workers, etc. The skewed regional allocations in the proposed budget must be realigned, with sufficient allocations for neglected regions in the Visayas and in Mindanao.

Let not the deceitful machinations of the PNoy Administration dampen our rage against unbridled corruption in government and attacks on our right to social services. On National Heroes Day, we shall continue the legacy of our heroes in upholding the people's interests against the rich and the few who secure seats in government and reduce the national agenda to their own selfish interests. On August 26, we shall march from Liwasang Bonifacio to Rizal Park to Mendiola to decisively assert our resolve to abolish the presidential and congressional pork barrel and rechannel funds to basic social services!

Join the August 26 March from Liwasang Bonifacio to Luneta to Mendiola: 7AM mass-up at Quezon Hall, UP Diliman; 9AM meet-up at Liwasang Bonifacio and march to Rizal Park. Wear red or maroon!!!!

Prosecute the people and parties involved in pork barrel scam and corruption!
Abolish the pork barrel system now!
Abolish the Presidential Pork Barrel now!
Rechannel the pork barrel funds to social services!
Fight for greater state subsidy for basic social services!


UP Faculty for the Abolition of the Presidential and Congressional Pork Barrel System | UP Kilos Na | Multi-Sectoral Alliance | Office of the Student Regent | Office of the Staff Regent|University Student Council

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     


From: Philippine Society and Revolution by Amado Guerrero


BUREAUCRAT CAPITALISM

1. The Meaning of Bureaucrat Capitalism

In dominating the Philippines, U.S. imperialism, like its colonial predecessors, found it expedient at the outset to secure the assistance of local traitors. Since it had to accommodate and assimilate the comprador big bourgeoisie and the landlord class to pursue its selfish interests, it considered as its most reliable assistants in colonial administration the political representatives of these exploiting classes. U.S. imperialism sought its first puppet bureaucrats from the ranks of the principalia. It took a special preference for renegades of the Philippine Revolution because these were very useful for scuttling the revolutionary efforts of the people and were too eager to prove their new colonial allegiance and take advantage of the bureaucratic and economic opportunities offered to them.

The pack of counterrevolutionary speculators that had crept into the leadership of the Aguinaldo government was the first group of local politicians to be permitted by U.S. imperialism to organize a political party in the Philippines. Their Partido Federal campaigned for the annexation of the Philippines to the United States. Membership in this traitor party was proof of loyalty to the alien flag and served as a guarantee for gaining appointment to the colonial bureaucracy established by U.S. imperialism.

When the Partido Federal became too discredited and isolated, the U.S. imperialists procured the bureaucratic assistance of the Nacionalista Party and assigned to it the special role of lulling the people with patriotic slogans while servilely performing colonial chores. The class leadership of this new traitor party was no different from that of its predecessor.

The Nacionalista Party was so efficient in its special role of pretending to be for independence and preventing the people from asserting their sovereign rights that it was allowed to dominate puppet politics for quite a long time. After World War II, however, U.S. imperialism saw to it that what was then the most reactionary wing within the Nacionalista Party be converted into another party so as to maintain a two-party system in which one party checks the other to stay within the bounds of a semicolonial and semifeudal society.

In this last quarter of a century, the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party have never expressed any basic difference in programme with regard to the basic problems of U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. The stalwarts of both parties at every level can shift from one party to the other without having much to account for except in the most superficial terms. These puppet political parties have always been alike as the democratic Party and the Republican Party or Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola are alike.

There is so much muckraking between these two reactionary parties, especially on the issue of graft and corruption. But mutually they avoid bringing up the fundamental issues involving the foreign and feudal domination over the country. What bounds them above all is their servitude to U.S. imperialism and to the local exploiting classes and their pursuit of private wealth. Their differences are at the most factional and cliquish. They are preoccupied with quarrelling over the spoils of colonial office.

The big bureaucrats are characteristically big compradors and big landlords themselves. Contrary to the liberal lie that a ‘‘poor boy can become president,” no one has ever reached the rank of even a congressman without representing the exploiting classes and without in the process joining them. By the time that someone has become president in the present system, he shall have become not only the chief political representative of the exploiters but also one of the biggest among them.

With U.S. imperialism enlarging its interests at the expense of the broad masses of the people, the colonial bureaucrats have become bureaucrat capitalists. They are capitalists by keeping the entire government as a large private enterprise from which they draw enormous private profits. They act like the local managers of the U.S. monopolies. They serve the comprador big bourgeoisie and the landlord class which are their internal material basis. Nevertheless, as distinguished from these two exploiting classes, the bureaucrat capitalists build up or expand their wealth through the exercise of political power. Classic statements to describe their distinctive character have come from their own mouths: “What are we in power for?”, “We must provide for the future of our families!” and “We are all giant octopuses here!”

Through their political parties, the bureaucrat capitalists try to give the masses the false illusion of democratic choice. But these political parties are nothing but the external trappings of compradorlandlord dynasties perpetuating themselves in power. So far, elections have been regularb held in the Philippines but U.S. imperialism and the local exploiting classes have always seen to it that only the political parties and the candidates subservient to their interests are politically permitted and financially capable of running for elective positions in the bureaucracy.

These exploiting interests contribute financially to both sides of an electoral contest to make sure that whichever wins, the forces of counterrevolution win and the broad masses of the people who are misled into the motion of voting lose. Oftentimes, these exploiters give vent to their preferences only by giving more funds to their favorite candidates. The general result is that the reactionary government continues to be their instrument and that the bureaucrat capitalists continue to draw their own profits from the preservation of a semicolonial and semifeudal order.

A party which is in control of government funds and facilities has a great advantage over an opposition party. In addition, it can also dispose at least a clique in the reactionary armed forces for fraud and terrorism. Despite all these, however, such a party that is ostensibly in power can either retain its majority position or be shoved into a minority position in the reactionary government only as U.S. imperialism and the local exploiting classes wish. These superior powers behind the entire puppet state have more disposable funds for electioneering. They are controllers of the most powerful mass media. They can manipulate the levers of their economic and political power to unleash propaganda in favor of their own policies and interests. To put the ruling party in a ridiculous position, all that the U.S. imperialists have to do is to withhold loan capital from the reactionary government or all that the local exploiting classes have to do is to manipulate the prices of prime
commodities. Besides all these tricks, the puppet politicians have to watch out in whose favor the reactionary armed forces are being swung by U.S. imperialism.

During the last 25 years, third parties so-called have been put up. These parties like the Democratic Party led by Carlos P. Romulo and the Progressive Party of the Philippines led by the Manahan-Manglapus gang have served mainly to firm up the puppet and exploitative class character of the two-party system and have merely ensured the granting of concessions to their chieftains. These “third parties” have been used only to tilt the balance in favor of the most reactionary candidates at a given time in the puppet elections. Romulo’s Democratic Party was used to support the Magsaysay candidacy. The Manahan-Manglapus gang has continuously adapted its party to the needs of the C.I.A. and the reactionary diehards in the Catholic Church whose support it enjoys. The Progressive Party of the Philippines became the Grand Alliance in 1959 and launched a campaign for the decontrol policy and went to the extent of threatening the incumbent regime with a coup d’etat. In 1961, the Manglapus- Manahan gang formed the United Opposition with the Liberal Party to ensure the electoral success of the latter with its colonial platform of “free enterprise.” Now the Manglapus-Manahan gang is running the Christian Social Movement. This latest contraption of the C.I.A. and the reactionary diehards in the oldest colonial and feudal institution in the country is intended as before to mislead those who are disgusted with the present political system into counterrevolutionary reformism and clerico-fascism. Its comprador and landlord leaders echo the catchphrases of the discredited Christian Democratic parties of Europe and Latin America.

So far, the only “third party” with some positive aspects emerged in 1957 when the Nationalist- Citizens’ Party was led by Sen. Claro Mayo Recto. It was at best, however, an anti-imperialist mouthpiece of the national bourgeoisie for a short while. It had a dual character. Its failure resulted from its adherence to bourgeois constitutionalism and parliamentarism. In the end, it served only to strengthen the present political system. Now it remains a mere name with which individual opportunists qualify themselves for concessions from the present ruling party.27

2. Sources of Graft and Corruption

Graft and corruption is an integral part of a semicolonial and semifeudal society. The bureaucracy is nothing but an instrument for facilitating the exploitation of the broad masses of the people by foreign and feudal interests. The bureaucrat capitalists merely exact their share in the profits of comprador and landlord exploitation. It is their reward. In dishing out the anachronistic jargon of “liberal democracy” or “free enterprise,” they simply mean to say that private interest (individual freedom of the exploiters) is paramount to public interest.

The entire hierarchy of the Philippine bureaucracy, including the executive, legislative and judicial branches, from the time of Quezon and Osmena to that of Macapagal and Marcos, has always been ridden with graft and corruption. One has only to take note of how much property a certain bureaucrat capitalist has at the start of his treacherous career and compare it with his visible assets that accumulate from year to year to be convinced of the enormity of graft and corruption and how detestably rotten the present system is.

In the guise of collecting support for their political parties, the bureaucrat capitalists get funds and facilities from their imperialist, comprador and landlord masters. Even before winning the elections or even in losing out to their opponents, they become wealthy on account of the large campaign contributions that they get. In return for the largesse that they collect, they become bound to the class interests of their supporters.

The bureaucrat capitalists get bribe money on the adoption of laws, executive orders and court decisions. In every contract, concession, franchise or license there is a certain amount of money that is used to line the pockets of the bureaucrat capitalists. Oftentimes, they themselves are parties in private transactions directly or through trusted dummies or relatives. It is characteristic of bureaucrat capitalists today to flaunt their status as chairmen, consultants or legal counsel of private business enterprises. Public lands, including those actually cultivated by the poor homesteaders and the national minorities, are grabbed by the bureaucrat capitalists and their collaborators. These are taken over as logging, mining or pasture areas at first under a lease or some other kind of contract with the government and subsequently converted into their private property. And public works are so designed as to raise the value of these lands.

In export-import operations peculiar to a semicolonial and semifeudal country, the bureaucrat capitalists draw their own share of comprador profits by putting their own outfits and the bribe-givers’ on the priority list in foreign exchange accommodation. In the misdeclaration of imports and exports and consequent tax evasion, they cheat their own reactionary government of revenues.

Every year enormous amounts of funds are appropriated for public works. Most of these actually go into the pockets of the bureaucrat capitalists. Public bidding for the purchase of equipment and construction materials or for the hiring of a construction firm is manipulated. The payroll is also padded to pay idle proteges and also to yield more graft for the bureaucrat capitalists.

The government banking and insurance systems have been used to build up the landholdings and capital holdings of the bureaucrat capitalists and their close collaborators. Even when loans are granted to other borrowers, large percentages of the loans grease the palms of the bureaucrat capitalists. Using funds collected from workers and government employees through the Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System, the reactionary government makes direct investments in private corporations. In the process, the bureaucrat capitalists get various concessions aside from gaining positions of authority in these private corporations.

All government corporations become milking cows in the hands of the bureaucrat capitalists. They are the sources of huge salaries and allowances. Purchase bids provide still bigger income for them. At so large an expense by the reactionary government, so-called pioneering enterprises are put up only to be sold at a losing price to private entities. Before being sold, these government corporations are subjected to all kinds of financial manipulation. Their bankruptcy becomes the rationale for their sale, that is, for another bureaucrat-capitalist killing. The bankruptcy of a government corporation is ridiculously used as an argument by the bureaucrat parasites themselves not against state capitalism but against socialism.

In the accounting of private assets, there is a double standard: one is the book value for tax purposes and the other is the market value. Tax exemptions and all kinds of incentives are further granted to imperialist, comprador and landlord interests. Corporate bodies and fake cooperatives controlled by the imperialists, compradors and landlords are created to cheat the petty bourgeoisie and the masses in general. In all these arrangements, there is so wide an area for graft and corruption for the bureaucrat capitalists. Oftentimes, bureaucrat capitalists are directly retained by corporations and haciendas in order to insure immediate suppression of the working people.

At every turn in the history of Philippine bureaucracy, there are special sources of graft and corruption. These could be crop loans, relief goods, war surplus goods, reconstruction funds, Chinese immigration quota, import controls, price controls, dollar allocations, rural banks, fake cooperatives, Japanese war reparations, deportation threats, alien naturalization, logging and mining concessions, pasture leases, stock exchange manipulations, government loans and subscriptions to private corporations, congressional allowances, calamity and contingency funds, barrio improvement funds, subsidies and so on and so forth.

The bureaucrat capitalists also venture directly into the most starkly illegitimate activities. They are involved in smuggling, usury, plain extortion, gambling, cattle-rustling and prostitution. These are conspicuously perpetrated at the lower levels of the bureaucracy though the top bureaucrats operate their political parties as crime syndicates. In this connection, the reactionary troops and police and the private goons of local officials also grow fat on the most anti-social activities.

The sources of graft and corruption enumerated above do not yet complete the list. A particular bureaucrat capitalist may not take advantage of all these at one particular time. But he is certainly taking advantage of some. It is extremely clear that his nominal salary is not adequate to maintain the kind of living that he leads. He would pretend to dole out his monthly salary to his proteges but in fact he gets a huge income from one stroke of the pen or one telephone call. The arch-hypocrite Magsaysay made a big show of refusing petty gifts but was in fact engaged in grand extortion. Marcos announced that he would give up his worldly goods in self-abnegation but he actually meant to create a foundation to keep in display his USAFFE medals and “glorify” himself. The most self-aggrandizing purpose of that foundation, however, is the collection of financial “contributions.”

Big bureaucrat capitalists have developed standard tricks for keeping their loot. They keep “petty cash” (in millions of pesos) in their house vaults for immediate use, deposits under numbered accounts in Swiss banks, strings of palatial houses and buildings, jewelry and all kinds of luxuries, securities in profitable corporations and land titles. To make a big joke of the Anti-Graft Law, the bureaucrat capitalists temporarily put their assets under the names of close relatives or well-known businessmen until such time that the bureaucrat capitalists can freely cite “legitimate” business ventures.

The center of fire is properly directed at the big bureaucrat capitalists who rapaciously betray the national-democratic interests of the Filipino people. No matter how they conceal their ill-gotten wealth, it will still show in so many pompous assets that they never fail to flaunt. Characteristically, they spend their money in the most wasteful and unproductive ways.

The corruption of the big bureaucrat capitalists extends downward to the lower levels of the reactionary government and the local ward leaders. But by and large, within the reactionary government, the big bureaucrat capitalists oppress and exploit lower officials and ordinary employees.
 

 At the BAYAN/Pagbabago section of the Luneta 
     
     
     
     
     
     
Hold highthe banners of the First Quater Storm Movement
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Workers vow bigger protest vs Aquino’s pork

“We’ve only just begun”

This was the statement of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno as they joined today’s “Million People March” demanding the abolition of the pork barrel system.

“Workers joined today’s protest as Filipino taxpayers to demand the abolition of the grandest criminal modus operandi that is the pork barrel system which is orchestrated by country’s biggest organized crime syndicate ran by President Aquino and his minions” Lito Ustarez, KMU vice chairperson said.

“The thousands who came to Luneta today proves that more and more ordinary Filipino workers and people believes that Aquino’s daang matuwid is a hoax, that corruption persists and even became legitimate under his administration and they are determined to take action against it” he added.

KMU also slammed President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s “hypocrisy” and dirty tricks to water down the growing unrest among Filipino workers and people against the prevalent corruption under his administration.

“Aquino is trembling in fear of this protest. He is in a state of disbelief that ordinary Filipinos are protesting against him. That is why he resorted to desperate maneuvers to water down the people’s urge to join today’s rally” Ustarez said.

Ustarez also claimed that Aquino’s announcement to abolish the PDAF was a “hypocritical damage control move. Aquino does not want to abolish the pork barrel system. He wants to take-control of it. His so-called PDAF reform gives him full digression over trillions of pork barrel funds” he said.

“As this publicity stunt failed, Aquino used dirty tactics to break the people’s unity by demonizing and isolating progressive organizations to divert the public attention away from him and discourage people from joining the protest. As proven today, this too, was futile” he added.

The labor center demanded that the P1.3 trillion presidential-pork barrel be rechanneled to social services. Ustarez also warned that bigger and bolder protest as Aquino’s false “good governance” continue to be exposed.

“This government has been extorting taxes from our already meager wages that only goes to corruption. We demand our taxes back! We want these trillions of public funds being pocketed by Aquino and his minions to be returned to the people through social services such as education, health care, decent housing and livelihood” Ustarez said.

“If history has taught us one thing, it is that the Filipino people are determined to unite and fight corrupt regimes. Today’s protest is a victory for Filipino workers and people. We have shown once again our unity against the rampant corruption in the government. We will continue to hold bigger and bolder protests as long as corruption prevails” he ended. ###

Reference Person: Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson
Contact information: 0908-6491992

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Workers ready for Aug. 26 protest vs. corruption

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno announced today that workers and the poor are ready to join tomorrow’s protest against corruption in the Aquino government, saying Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s lies about the pork barrel system have failed to deceive the people.

KMU said it is clear that Aquino merely wants to re-name the Priority Development Assistance Fund and add certain restrictions to its use while maintaining the pork barrel system which includes presidential pork amounting to P1.3 Trillion.

“Workers and the poor across the country are ready to protest against corruption in the Aquino government. We have called upon our regional chapters to join the protest and tens of thousands of workers and the poor will join nationwide,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU media officer.

“Aquino’s statements give us no reason to celebrate and give us many reasons to be vigilant. He wants to undermine the Aug. 26 protest and even make it appear that this protest against corruption is something that is supportive of the government at a time when the latter is being criticized for corruption,” he added.

“As far as workers and the poor are concerned, the Aug. 26 protest is critical of the Aquino government. This protest shall condemn corruption, something already endemic to the government, including the Aquino government,” he said.

KMU also condemned Akbayan Partylist for praising Aquino’s Aug. 23 statement, and claimed that the partylist group is Aquino’s “kasabwat sa kababuyan” or “partner in pork” for trying to make it appear that the chief executive’s statement points to the abolition of the pork barrel system.

“The case of Akbayan clearly illustrates how pork makes one blind to the president’s maneuvers and deaf to the people’s clamor against the pork barrel system and corruption. Akbayan has again exposed itself as Aquino’s spokesperson in so-called civil society,” Adonis said.

“Akbayan has pitted itself against the various sectors of society which are participating in the Aug. 26 protest. It is colluding with Aquino in trying to weaken the protest and divide the ranks of those who plan to join by amplifying Aquino’s lies,” he added.

KMU reiterated its call to the public to join tomorrow’s protest and the future protests against the president’s pork barrel, against the pork barrel system, and against growing corruption in the Aquino government.

“We are calling on all Filipinos who love their country to join tomorrow’s protest. We hope that tomorrow will be the start of more and bigger protests against presidential pork, the pork barrel system, and corruption,” Adonis said.

Reference Person: Jerome Adonis, KMU media officer
Contact information: 0999-4499794

 

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Aquino’s announcement on the pork barrel system today has “damage control” written all over it. The Filipino workers and people will not be fooled!

Aquino is clearly trying to deceive the public and undermine the August 26 protest and succeeding protests.

He said it is time to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the same breath that he defends the pork barrel system and proposes a supposedly new system of legalized corruption which he will monopolize.

The Filipino workers and people have more reason to join the August 26 protest and succeeding protests.

Not only is Aquino trying to deodorize the corrupt pork barrel system and defend his huge share of pork barrel funds, he is trying to deceive the people on an issue of national importance.

With his announcement today, Aquino has again exposed his “Daang Matuwid” as a mere campaign slogan aimed at covering up the worsening corruption in government.


Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597

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Bonifacio would decry present-day cacique chief’s pork – KMU

More than 150 workers and urban poor led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno gathered in front of working-class hero Andres Bonifacio’s monument in Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila this morning to mark the anniversary of the Cry of Pugadlawin, the start of Filipinos’ armed uprising against Spanish colonialism, and to condemn Pres. Noynoy Aquino for defending the pork barrel system.

Dressed as members of the Katipunan, the secret society founded by Bonifacio, the protestors tore up pieces of paper with the words “Pork Barrel” and “Aquino’s Pork” written across them, recalling how the Katipuneros declared rebellion by tearing up their cedulas or ID.

“Had Bonifacio been alive today, he would surely lead protests against the pork barrel system especially the president’s pork barrel funds. Bonifacio fought for the country’s freedom and for equality among Filipinos, and would be revolted by the immense ill-gotten wealth of present-day caciques subservient to foreign dictates,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“Bonifacio did not struggle and die so that modern-day caciques can steal huge amounts of money from the people through the pork barrel system. We who respect Bonifacio and his ideals should wage a revolt against corruption that targets the pork barrel system and Aquino’s pork barrel, the biggest of them all,” he added.

With the activity, KMU also announced its participation in the August 26 National Heroes’ Day protest at the Luneta, which will voice out the condemnation by various sectors of society of corruption through the pork barrel system.

“We will be at the Luneta on the 26th. We are calling on all Filipinos, especially the workers and urban poor, who are fed up with corruption in the country to join the protest,” Labog said.

“Aquino is trying to protect his huge pork barrel and the pork barrel system by making it appear that he is going after Janet Lim-Napoles, who is a small fish and a mere accomplice in the pork barrel scam. We Filipinos should act so that something good will be achieved by expose’s related to the pork barrel scam,” he added.

The labor center said the activity is a kick-off of its campaign to commemorate Bonifacio’s 150th birthday on November 30 this year.

“We continue to struggle for Bonifacio’s aspirations for the country – national liberation and democracy. We salute Bonifacio for taking up arms in order to achieve his aspirations for the Filipino people,” Labog added.

“Our campaign is about rekindling the fire that is Bonifacio among our people. We will try to educate millions of Filipinos about Bonifacio’s historical significance and continuing relevance and about how the Aquino government stands opposed to the ideals of the working-class hero,” he said.

Pork barrel ng mga cacique ngayon, kokondenahin ni Bonifacio – KMU

Mahigit 150 manggagawa at maralita sa pamumuno ng sentrong unyong Kilusang Mayo Uno ang nagtipon sa harap ng monumento ng bayaning anakpawis na si Andres Bonifacio sa Liwasang Bonifacio sa Maynila ngayong umaga para gunitain ang anibersaryo ng Sigaw ng Pugadlawin, ang simula ng armadong pag-aalsa ng mga Pilipino laban sa kolonyalismong Espanyol, at para kondenahin si Pang. Noynoy Aquino para sa pagtatanggol nito sa pork barrel system.

Suot ang kasuotan ng miyembro ng Katipunan, ang lihim na organisasyong itinayo ni Bonifacio, pinunit ng mga nagpoprotesta ang mga papel na may nakasulat na “Pork Barrel” at “Aquino’s Pork,” ipinapaalala kung paanong nagdeklara ang mga Katipunero ng rebelyon sa pamamagitan ng pagpunit ng kanilang mga cedula o ID noon.

“Kung buhay si Bonifacio ngayon, tiyak na papamunuan niya ang mga protesta laban sa pork barrel system, lalo na ang pork barrel ng pangulo. Ipinaglaban niya ang kalayaan ng bansa at pagkakapantay-pantay sa mga Pilipino, at tiyak na masusuklam siya sa napakalaking nakaw na yaman ng mga cacique ng kasalukuyan na sunud-sunuran sa dikta ng mga dayuhan,” ani Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairperson ng KMU.

“Hindi nakibaka at nagbuwis ng buhay si Bonifacio para ang mga cacique ngayon ay makapagnakaw ng malaking halaga mula sa mga mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng pork barrel system. Tayong mga gumagalang kay Bonifacio at kanyang mga ipinaglaban ay dapat mag-alsa laban sa katiwalian nang tinatarget ang pork barrel system lalo na ang pork barrel ni Aquino, na siyang pinakamalaki,” dagdag niya.

“Sa pamamagitan ng aktibidad, inanunsyo rin ng KMU ang paglahokn ito sa protesta sa Agosto 26, National Heroes’ Day, sa Luneta, na magpapahayag ng pagkondena ng iba’t ibang sektor ng lipunan sa katiwalian sa pamamagitan ng pork barrel system.

“Magtutungo kami sa Luneta sa ika-26. Tinatawagan namin ang lahat ng Pilipino, lalo na ang mga manggagawa at maralita, na sawang-sawa na sa korupsyon sa bansa, na sumama sa protesta,” sabi ni Labog.

“Pinoprotektahan ni Aquino ang napakalaking pork barrel niya at ang pork barrel system sa pamamagitan ng sarswela ng paghabol kuno kay Janet Lim-Napoles, na maliit na isda at kasapakat lang sa pork barrel scam. Dapat kumilos tayong mga Pilipino para may magandang kalabasan itong mga expose tungkol sa pork barrel scam,” dagdag niya.

Ayon pa sa sentrong unyon, panimula ang aktibidad ng kampanya nitong gunitain ang ika-150 kaarawan ni Bonifacio sa Nobyembre 30 ngayon taon.

“Patuloy tayong nakikibaka para sa mga mithiin ni Bonifacio para sa bansa – tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya. Saludo tayo kay Bonifacio sa pag-aarmas para makamit ang mga mithiin ng sambayanang Pilipino,” dagdag ni Labog.

“Gusto ng aming kampanya na paglagablabiin ang apoy ni Bonifacio sa ating mga kapwa-Pilipino. Sisikapin naming ipaliwanag sa ating mga kababayan ang halaga sa kasaysayan at nagpapatuloy na kabuluhan ni Bonifacio, at kung paanong ang gobyernong Aquino ay kalaban ng mga mithiin ng bayaning anakpawis,” aniya.

Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597

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Aquino hit for defending pork barrel system again

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned Pres. Noynoy Aquino today for reiterating his refusal to abolish the pork barrel system and said that stricter punishment for legislators who misuse the funds won’t curb corruption in the system.

KMU said the pork barrel system is prone to corruption because it is essentially about giving politicians huge chunks of the people’s money which they can use at their discretion, despite the threats of punishment that go with it.

“In the first place, from an anti-corruption perspective, the pork barrel system is not a good idea. The numerous cases of corruption in the pork barrel system stem from the nature of the system itself,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“The imposition of stricter punishments for those who misuse pork barrel funds is a desperate attempt to prettify what in essence is an ugly system of legalized corruption. It is revolting that instead of abolishing this major source of corruption, Aquino wants to make it look better,” he added.

The labor center said that Aquino is merely trying to justify his refusal to give up his P1 Trillion pork barrel, the biggest pork allocation, in the P2.6-Trillion proposed national budget for 2014.

“Aquino is the most vocal defender of the pork barrel system because he is the system’s biggest benefactor. He will surely use his immense pork barrel to fund his publicity gimmicks, pressure legislators to approve his anti-people measures, and enrich his KKK – Kamag-anak, Kaibigan at Kaalyado,” Labog said.

“It is disgusting to hear the Aquino government reduce subsidies to social services and increase politicians’ pork barrel funds. The pork barrel funds show that the government has enough funds to improve social services but is not doing so,” he added.

KMU also announced that it will participate in the August 26 Araw ng Kagitingan protest against the presidential pork barrel and the pork barrel system and called on the public to join the protest in Luneta and all over the country.

“We unite with all sectors of society who are calling for the abolition of the presidential pork barrel and the pork barrel system. We will join the August 26 protest as well as other protests that carry these calls,” Labog said.

“Workers and the poor know the pork barrel system and are revolted by it. They know how it contributes to the growing hunger and poverty in the country and they are eager to show their disgust with the system,” he added.

Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597

 

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Workers want Aquino’s P1 Trillion pork scrapped

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called for the scrapping of Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s P1 trillion pork barrel today, saying the fund should be rechanneled to various social services such as education, health and housing.

KMU branded Aquino as “Pork Barrel King” for increasing allocations to pork barrel funds since he became president and for allocating a huge section of the P2.6 trillion national budget to his discretionary funds.

The labor center said Aquino will surely use the fund to enrich his “Kamag-anak, Kaibigan at Kaalyado” and to force legislators and other politicians to approve and implement his anti-poor policies.

“It is revolting to see Aquino alloting to his discretionary fund a huge section of the national budget while social services are becoming more scarce, expensive and low-quality. Aquino prioritizes his and his KKK’s interests, not those of the Filipino people,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“We condemn the pork barrel king even as we condemn those who have pocketed the people’s money through pork barrel funds. The pork barrel scams show that the people’s money should not be left to the complete discretion of politicians including Aquino,” he said.

“Aquino’s P1 trillion pork barrel explains why he is defending the pork barrel system despite the corruption endemic to it, the recent scandals stemming from it, and his anti-corruption rhetoric. Aquino is noisiest in proclaiming his opposition to corruption but is the biggest defender and benefactor of a huge corruption racket,” he added.

Former National Treasurer Leonor Briones exposed that in the proposed national budget, Aquino has put around P1 trillion in lump sum items under his discretion, including P229 billion in special purpose funds, P139 billion in unprogrammed funds and P200 billion allegedly for school buildings.

Data from the Department of Budget and Management reveal that funds alloted to the Priority Development Assistance Fund have doubled when Aquino became president and has increased since then.

“Despite his rhetoric of change and ‘daang matuwid,’ Aquino is no different from previous presidents who got the biggest chunk of corruption. The dominant faction of the ruling class always gets the biggest share of pork barrel funds,” Labog said.

“We vow to press for the rechanneling of Aquino’s pork barrel to social services. It is unacceptable that state colleges are raising fees, public hospitals are being privatized, and the the poor is being asked to pay dearly for so-called housing services when the president has P1 trillion in pork barrel,” he added.

Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597

 

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           
Amsterdam
           


Filipino Parish NL and MIGRANTE NL protest against the pork barrel after the prayer celebration held Aug. 25 at the Old Catholic Church social hall in Amsterdam
 

           
New York City
   
   


PEACE - City College of San Francisco
Philippine Union of La Guardia Students Organization (PULSO) - City University of New York, La Guardia Community College
Pilipinos of Hunter (POH) - City University of New York, Hunter College
Kaibigan - Portland State University
Samahang Pilipino - University of California Los Angeles
Youth of Iglesia Filipino Independiente - Diocese of Tampa (Eastern USA & Eastern Canada)

Canada:
Anakabyan Montreal
Anakbayan Toronto
BAYAN- Canada
Binnadang - Migrante Canada
Filipino Student Association of Toronto (FSAT) - University of Toronto

Australia:
Anakbayan Melbourne

Netherlands:
SAMAKA - Netherlands
--
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For Immediate Release
August 26, 2013
Reference: Bea Sabino, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey
(201) 779 6886; anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com

Filipino Youth of New Jersey Joins International Day of Outrage vs. Pork Barrel,
Demand an End to Government Corruption in the Philippines

New York City, NY- Anakbayan New Jersey (AB-NJ) united with several other Filipino community organizations in the region for a historic 100-people strong protest action in front of the Philippine Consulate in NYC, demanding nothing less than the abolition of the pork barrel system in all branches of government.

In solidarity with the August 26 Million People March in Luneta, overseas Filipinos took to the streets and social media to express outrage and disappointment over the Aquino regime’s ineptitude at genuinely addressing the economic and social problems of the Filipino people.

In NYC, community members showed up wearing pig masks and brought signs that said, “Abolish Presidential Pork Barrel”, “Re-Channel Funds to Social Services” and “Investigate and Prosecute All Involved in Corruption”. There were also chanting of a revised popular protest slogan that goes, “Makibaka! Huwag mang-baboy!” in reference to the pork barrel fund and corruption. Speakers also from various organizations lashed out against the gross governmental misuse of public funds.

A member of Anakbayan NJ, tells his experience, “The protest meant a great deal to me because it's great to see Fil-Ams in my area still be so connected to the troubles of our homeland. [We sent the message] that we are angry that supposed public servants are breaking their promises and stealing the money of the Filipino public,” said Jan Aguilos.

Clearly, despite Aquino’s supposed campaign to eliminate corruption, trillions of pesos in pork barrel funds are being laundered and pocketed by politicians every year through sham non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private investments; while the Filipino masses suffer under state budget constraints in education, health care, Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) protection, emergency relief and rehabilitation and other social services.


Scrap the Pork, Serve OFWs

The pork barrel scandal, where the exposé on Janet Lim- Napoles is but the tip of the iceberg, affects overseas Filipino workers as it affects their families back home. Corruption on the part of politicians is negatively connected to declining economic conditions in the Philippines, which push Filipinos to migrate abroad.

Nina Macapinlac, an AB-NJ member who migrated to the US 15 years ago, said, “This [government corruption] is outrageous because the pork barrel scandal illuminates the expansive pork barrel state of the Philippines, where power is so regularly used to exploit the public sphere. My family in the US works hard to send back money so this is just as much our concern as it is in the Philippines.”

Pork barrel funds include remittances sent home by Filipino migrants as well as millions more from tax impositions and state exactions through the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the Department of Foreign Affairs. These remittances reached a record high of $21.4 billion worth of personal cash and non-cash items and goods in 2012, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Despite OFWs’ undeniable contributions, protesters cited several examples of the Aquino government’s failure to provide assistance to thousands of OFWs. President Aquino’s P1-trillion pork barrel fund could well be spent on the repatriation costs of over 5,000 distressed and stranded Filipinos in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as legal assistance funds for victims of labor trafficking in the United States.

Unity is People Power

The current surge of grassroots activism in the Filipino community around the world has been likened to the rumbles of the First Quarter Storm of the ‘70s. Participants of the protest action vowed to remain united and continue fighting until the pork barrel is abolished.

“Today, I saw the potential of our People here in the States to truly come together and stand up for something,” shared Daniel Santiago, an AB-NJ member, reacting to his experience witnessing the great turnout of Filipinos in the NY/NJ area. “There were people from varying spectrums of beliefs and focused on different aspects of what is going on with our People, but we managed to be united on certain things. It was a beautiful thing to be able to see [these organizations] come together as well as see so many Filipinos come out against the pork barrel to be in solidarity with those back home fighting to see it gone,” Santiago concluded.

Anakbayan is calling on Filipino youth and students in the United States to join the campaign against government corruption and hold Philippine public officials accountable. Sign on and endorse the Youth and Student Unified Statement vs. Pork Barrel and Corruption by August 28, 2013 by visiting anakbayannynj.wordpress.com or emailing anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com with your name, organization and contact information.

The Filipino people, across various sectors of society, are stepping up and starting to question President Aquino’s eroding “daang matuwid” (righteous path). “The pork barrel scam is an unavoidable symptom of larger systemic problems in Philippine society. A bright, sustainable future depends on our determination to realize the demands of the campaign to abolish pork barrel and the system that perpetuates it through organized actions and people power. This broad movement for justice seeks to prove that the truly righteous path is the one we pave ourselves as a united force at home and abroad for the rights and welfare of our kababayans,” ended Bea Sabino, chairperson of AB-NJ. ###
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SERVE THE PEOPLE!

Anakbayan (in english: "sons and daughters of the nation") is a comprehensive mass organization that aims to build unity among Filipino youth -- immigrant, US-born/raised, student, working, LGBTQI, women, artists, etc -- striving for national liberation and democracy. Anakbayan also work for the promotion of cultural awareness and the advancement of rights, welfare, and social justice. All Filipino youth are agents of social change, so all Filipino youth are welcome to join.

Anakbayan New York/New Jersey is a full-fledged chapter of Anakbayan in the Philippines and a member organization of BAYAN USA, MIGRANTE International, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), International Migrants' Alliance (IMA) and International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS).


Email: anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com
Blog: www.anakbayannynj.wordpress.com

Facebook: Anakbayan NJ
Anakbayan NY
Twitter: Anakbayannynj

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2013

Reference: Yves Nibungco, National Chairperson, Anakbayan-USA
yvesnibungco@gmail.com

Filipino Youth Overseas Demand an End to Government Corruption in the Philippines, Calls for the Abolition of All Pork Barrel

We, Filipino youth and students overseas, stand with our sisters and brothers in the Philippines who are taking to the streets in the “Million People March vs. Pork Barrel”.

We join the call to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and the presidential Special Purpose Fund (SPF). For too long, these discretionary funds have been used to fatten the pockets of corrupt politicians at the expense of our people’s welfare.

We demand that the Philippine government prioritize funding our people’s needs and not their own luxurious lifestyles. In the upcoming 2014 National Budget, the Aquino administration is set to allocate P1.2 trillion ($28.2 billion) for the president’s SPF and P25 billion ($565 million) for congress and senate’s PDAF. Despite his “Tuwid na Daan” (“Righteous Path”) rhetoric, the amount of pork barrel fund has actually doubled during Aquino’s administration and government corruption has only worsened. We demand the immediate rechanneling of all these funds directly to vital social services that our poorest sisters and brothers need, such as public education, health, housing, protection and welfare for overseas Filipino workers and even flood control.

We also call for the immediate, independent, and thorough investigation and prosecution of all parties involved in the misuse of the people’s money. The Pork Barrel must be emptied and the stench of all corrupt politicians and public officials must be aired out. Investigation and trial must be led by independent entities and not the politicians in senate and congress themselves. This process must be made public and televised. We want justice and accountability.

We recognize that this is bigger than Janet Lim-Napoles and the corrupt politicians involved in the current Pork Barrel Scam. This is about a system that breeds corruption and serves the interests of the wealthiest few while neglecting the poor majority of our people. We understand that it is exactly this type of corruption that is one of the main root of the ongoing economic crisis in our homeland, which forces millions of migrants like our parents to search for livelihood in other countries.

That is why, though we are thousands of miles away from our motherland, we are one with the people in fighting against systemic corruption in the Philippines. August 26th is only the beginning. No damage control nor deception by Aquino’s public relations team can stop the growing tide of people’s anger. The entire corrupt system must be changed in order for future generations to live in a society that is truly just and free.

ABOLISH ALL PORK BARREL FUNDS NOW!

RE-CHANNEL FUNDS TO SOCIAL SERVICES!

INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE ALL INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION!


Organizational signatories:
United States:
Active Leadership to Advance the Youth (ALAY)
Anakbayan- USA
Anakbayan Los Angeles
Anakbayan San Diego
Anakayan East Bay
Anakbayan Silicon Valley
Anakbayan Seattle
Anakbayan Chicago
Anakbayan New York
Anakbayan New Jersey
Asian American Student Union - Saint Peter’s University
Barkada - Farleigh Dickinson University
Filipino American Student Association at Oberlin College
Filipino American Student Association of the University of Washington
Filipinos Uniting Nations at Kean (FUNK) - Kean University
Filipinos Uniting Students in Other Nations (FUSION) - City University of New York, Baruch College
Kasama - University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Katipunan - University of California Riverside
Laya Migrant Youth for Change and Action, Daly City
League of Filipino Students - San Francisco State University
Maganda Magazine
 
 

   
   

 

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