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Hawaii visit unveils more than Arroyo expects–protests and condemnation

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References: Daya Mortel, Anakbayan Honolulu, email:
Chito Quijano, Vice-Chair, BAYAN-USA, email:

Honolulu, Hawaii–Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was met with protest today outside the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu, where she attended the unveiling ceremony of a sakada statute commemorating the centennial anniversary of the first Filipino migrants to Hawaii.

Members of the Filipino youth group, Anakbayan, and others were outside condemning the Mrs. Arroyo for her hand in the escalation of political killings, forced disappearances, and other human rights violations across the country.

The president is visiting Hawaii as a cap-off to her recent European tour visiting international leaders, including a tense face-off with Amnesty International secretary general Irene Khan in London last week. Amnesty International recently released a report on over 750 cases of political killings of youth, students, trade unionists, journalists, priests, and others under the Arroyo regime.

“[Arroyo] comes to Hawaii in a superficial gesture to honor migrant workers, but today’s unveiling of the statue is being conducted by hands stained with the blood of our countrymen,” stated Anakbayan member Daya Mortel, also a student at the University of Hawaii. “The Arroyo administration’s inability to address and stop the killings is rooted in its role as the ultimate perpetrators of the killings.”

Hawaii has one of the largest concentrations of Filipino immigrants in North America, and over 5,000 enter the state every year. Anakbayan also lambasted the Arroyo administration for failing to address the dire economic and political repression that drives so many Filipinos to leave.

Anakbayan is a member of BAYAN, an alliance of Filipino organizations from which the greatest number of political killings are from.

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