BAYAN-USA Echoes Call for “Bayanihan Relief” in Face of Pork Barrel King’s Continuing Pattern of Neglecting the People
With millions of survivors lacking food, water, or medical attention in the wake of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Cebu and Bohol and the typhoon which hit Northern and Central Luzon in the Philippines earlier this month, the Filipino-American alliance BAYAN-USA criticized President Aquino for perpetuating the system of neglect that ensures that millions of Filipinos will continue to suffer and die while a tiny handful get filthy rich.
“Aquino’s inept response to Typhoon Santi and the earthquake in the Visayas isn’t any different than his response to Typhoons Sendong and Pablo in past years. The Pork Barrel King should actually be held responsible for the deaths of all the people who perished in the typhoon and earthquake, because he presides over the system which funnels money away from genuine development and disaster preparedness and into the bank accounts of political dynasties, landlords and multi-national corporations,” said BAYAN-USA Chairperson Bernadette Ellorin.
“It is especially disgraceful that Aquino is celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to not to issue a Temporary Restraining Order on his Disbursement Acceleration Program (“DAP”), which will simply allow the accelerated distribution of pork to his cronies, while hundreds of thousands of people are still languishing in makeshift shelters without any effective government assistance. Is this the way that Aquino will mark All Soul’s Day next week—by dancing on the graves of those who died?” commented Ellorin.
BAYAN-USA contends that as the president of a country that experiences an average of five earthquakes each day and which is ranked as the third most prone to natural disasters in the world, Aquino needs to place the people’s welfare over his cronies’ riches. “Countries like Cuba, which also experience massive tropical storms and hurricanes every year, have managed to effectively mitigate many of the effects of potential natural disasters by investing in infrastructure and services which prevent the wide-scale death and destruction which plagues the Philippines. Aquino would have plenty of money to do the same, if he stopped pocketing it or giving it away to the billionaires who need it the least,” said Ellorin.
“In the spirit of honoring all those who lost their lives in the earthquake and all those who have given their lives fighting for the poor and oppressed, this All Soul’s Day BAYAN-USA asks everyone to support grassroots efforts to bring relief and rehabilitation to Bohol and Cebu. It’s the power of the people which will rebuild the towns which were reduced to rubble in the earthquake, and it’s the power of the people which will build a new society in the Philippines,” stated Ellorin.
BAYAN-USA encourages monetary donations from the US to be made to the Bayanihan Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation campaign of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON).
Donations can be made online at http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort or via cash or check. Make checks payable to “St. George Fontana,” on the memo line, write: “NAFCON Bayanihan Relief” to clearly allocate it for this purpose, and mail to 17895 San Bernardino Avenue, Fontana, CA 92335-6155 c/o Naida Castro.
Please include your return address with your donation. Cash or check donations can also be given to NAFCON Bayanihan Disaster Relief Regional Coordinators (see www.nafconusa.org for list of Regional Coordinators in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Midwest and Northeast regions of the US). For qualifying tax-deductible donations, please, email firstname.lastname@example.org for the necessary documentation.