Contact: Berna Ellorin
Secretary-General, BAYAN USA
The US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN USA, will join its mother alliance’s call for commemorative actions around the anniversary of People Power 1, Monday, February 25th. The umbrella group BAYAN Philippines will be joining a broader call of church leaders, civil libertarians, and business leaders for the immediate resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, following a high-end dialogue of various Philippine sectors in the Makati Business Club last Tuesday.
The Arroyo clan has recently been exposed of high dealings in graft and corruption as ZTE-NBN Broadband scandal star witness Rodolfo Noel Lozada testified last week to the Philippine Congress.
“We agree that Gloria will be facing a ‘new brand’ of people power, certainly one where more overseas Filipinos will take a stand, make more noise, and contribute to the anti-corruption, anti-dictatorship movement in the Philippines,” states BAYAN USA Chair Chito Quijano.
BAYAN Philippines Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. noted, “Perhaps the difference with people power today is that it’s seeds are emerging from various sectors of society despite there being no Cardinal Sin to call for it. People power is springing forth from the grassroots, the schools, factories, communities, businesses, with various political formations are coming together. It is spreading despite the limitations of the church hierarchy.”
“Now more than ever, we need to recall the lessons of people power and so we can come up with an improved version for our times. The new people power will not simply be led by any religious leader a la Cardinal Sin. Nor will it just seek to replace one regime with a worse one. We have certainly learned lessons from EDSA 1 and EDSA 2,” Reyes added.
The theme of the BAYAN protest actions will be People Power Pa Rin! (People Power Still!), a call that is growing popular even among overseas Filipinos in various countries. BAYAN USA has a considerable number of second and third generation Filipino members in the US who fully unite with the call and understand its relevance.
“Nothing is impossible. After 20 years of living under the iron fist of Marcos, the Filipino people made the so-called ‘impossible’ happen with People Power 1, and again with Estrada with People Power 2. These experiences prove that the Filipino people can make this new brand of People Power possible– one that will reject the corruption and moral bankruptcy of Trapo (traditional politician) politics, and one that will not allow another Trapo to simply replace Gloria. Even second-generation Fil-Ams can smell what is rotten about Arroyo from 30,000 miles away and know that the Philippine system needs to change,” Quijano ended.
BAYAN USA hopes to mounts actions with allies and friends in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities in the US calling for the resignation or ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo next week. BAYAN USA also calls on all sympathetic forces in the United States to mount creative actions calling for the immediate removal of Arroyo.