Filipino Youth in the US Condemn Violent Dispersal of Anti-Budget Cut Protest in the Philippines



Anakbayan chapters across the United States strongly condemn the violent dispersal of the August 25 anti-budget cut protest in front of the House of Representatives in the Philippines.  We support the filing of charges against the Quezon City Police District and the Security Office of the House of Representatives who committed acts of brutality against peaceful demonstrators.

In the middle of the peaceful rally of nearly a thousand youth, students, teachers, health workers, and urban poor, police forces started charging towards the people and began hitting demonstrators with their shields and batons.  Even after backing away from the gates of the House of Representatives, the demonstrators were blasted with water cannons from two firetrucks by the police and security personnel.  Five were seriously injured, including two national officers of Anakbayan Philippines.

Led by the multi-sectoral alliance, “Kilos na Laban sa Budget Cuts” (Act Now Against the Budget Cuts), the protest aimed to convince lawmakers to reject President Aquino’s proposed 2012 National Budget.  Aquino’s proposal would continue to allocate intolerably low funding for social services, education, health, housing, and services to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), yet would substantially increase allocation for the payment of foreign loans and military spending.  Under the 2012 budget, education will be one of the hardest hit by Aquino’s austerity measures.  Fifty-one State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) are facing a total cut of P583.69 million under Aquino’s proposed budget.
With the growing economic crisis and Aquino’s continued disregard of issues such as land reform and the nationalization of the Philippine economy, cuts to social services will only further deepen the misery of our kababayan.  Aquino should not be surprised with the growing discontent and unrest of the people.  The brutal actions of his government will only fuel greater resistance among the youth and the people across the country and overseas. ###

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Filipinos in America…Silent Minority No More – NAFCON

For Immediate Release

22 August 2011

Reference: Jun Cruz, NAFCON Public Info Officer

Email: info@filipinocc.org

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) raises the hands of the four Filipino nurses:  Corina Yap, Anna Rosales, Hazel Granada, and Hachelle Natano for their collective courage in asserting their civil rights. It can be recalled that they were fired by their former employer Ben Secours Health System in Baltimore, Maryland for speaking in Tagalog as a violation of the company’s “English Only” policy.

Recently, it was determined by the US Equal Employment Opportunity, through its director Gerald Kiel, that there was reasonable cause that Ben Secours Health System subjected the nurses to “unequal terms and condition of employment, a hostile work environment, disciplinary action and discharge because of their nationalorigins (Filipino) in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended.”

NAFCON Executive Vice President Rico Foz praised the Filipino nurses for their couragein asserting their right to speak our native language. Foz also thanked the Filipino community for not faltering in their support for our beleaguered kababayans. “This is Bayanihan in its very essence and spirit, another living proof that if we join hands, our collective voices are definitely heard.”

NAFCON proudly commended its legal counsel, Atty. Arnedo Valera of the Migrant Heritage Commission for pursuing this anti-labor and anti-discriminatory case to victory. “This victory is definitely a victory not only of our community but of all immigrants in the US” added Foz.

There are about four million Filipinos in the US making them the third largest immigrant population in the country, next to Mexico and China. Tagalog, a Filipino language, is the fifth most spoken in the US.

“Indeed, America is a nation of immigrants, of diversity and of multiculturalism. This landmark victory puts us in history once again. The Filipinos in America are a silent minority no more” concluded Foz. # # #

 

To join the NAFCON news list please send a request to info@nafconusa.org.

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns [NAFCON] is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and  individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. It was launched in San Jose Californiain 2003. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.

NAFCON Calls Community to Support Prince George’s Teachers

For Immediate Release

16 August 2011

Reference: Jun Cruz, NAFCON Public Info Officer

Email: info@filipinocc.org

 

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns urges all to support the 1,044 teachers, mostly Filipino, wrongfully facing immediate deportation. According to Rico Foz, Executive Vice President of NAFCON, “The Department of Labor (DOL) is punishing these teachers even though it is the   Prince George’s County Public School (PGCPS) that is at fault.”

 

After DOL determined that PGCPS owed the teachers $4,000 each in back-pay, they subsequently barred the school district from employing foreign workers for two years. “As a result, 957 Filipinos lost the job they sacrificed their entire lives in the Philippines for and to make matters worse face immediate deportation,” continued Foz.

 

In the short term, NAFCON urges the community to sign the petition at http://www.change.org/katarungan-dc, educate others of the   Prince George’s teachers plight, and stay tuned for other ways to support.

 

In the long term, NAFCON believes it is imperative to further strengthen the nationwide immigrant and worker rights movement with more Filipinos willing to stand up and defend our rights and welfare. Foz concluded, “Too often Filipinos fall victim to employer exploitation and the failure of both the Philippine and   U.S.   governments’ systems to protect migrant workers. Thus we must organize so we can protect ourselves.”

 

In October 21-23, in   New York  , NAFCON will convene its General Assembly highlighting the theme, “Further Deepen the Unity of the U.S. Filipino Immigrant Movement to Defend our Rights and Welfare and Build a Better Future for our Homeland”. NAFCON envisions this assembly will strengthen our community’s ability to protect the   Prince George  ’s teachers and all migrant workers. ###

 

 

 

To join the NAFCON news list please send a request to info@nafconusa.org.

 

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns [NAFCON] is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. It was launched in San Jose California in 2003. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.

SAVE THE DATE: August 19- Another Upsurge is on Its Way!

“Upsurge: Rising Consciousness”

WHAT: The inspiration behind producing this event is to create a space for local artists, activists, and members of the community to come together, hangout and share experiences with each other. This month’s Upsurge will be focusing on the issue of public education. We have seen massive cuts to the educational budget, while government spending on wars and corporate bailouts remain on the rise. Anakbayan aims to educate our fellow youth regarding this attack on social services and inspire them to take on the fight for their right to free, quality, and liberating education.

Any art piece in line with the theme of enlightenment, empowerment and self-remolding is welcome.

WHEN: August 19, 2011; 7pm- 11pm

WHERE: Action 21
107-B Hutton St.
Jersey City, NJ

$5 admission
Light refreshments will be on sale

Performances by:
Jaclyn Millar
Yoko Liriano
Amira Aziza
Gian Perez
Melanie Dulfo
Koba
D-Haze
LaDii Jay
…and more!

We hope you spend your last few days of summer with us, so we can all go back to school, inspired.

For more information, feel free to email us at anakbayan.nynj@gmail.com or call Bea Sabino at (201) 779-6886.