OFWs Make ‘Oust
The active response of
overseas Filipinos to calls for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo has taken the campaign to a higher level and given it an
international dimension. This increases the pressure on the Macapagal-Arroyo
administration which is heavily dependent on OFW remittances.
IN SCREAMING COLORS:
Hong Kong OFW flashes ribbon calling for Macapagal-Arroyo's
mobilization that brought
together anti-administration groups was not limited to the Philippines.
Various OFW groups, most of them affiliated with the militant Migrante
International, have signified support to the ouster campaign.
A petition campaign
in fact is presently circulating among Filipinos in the United States,
saying “The Filipino people have had enough! We, Filipinos in the United
States, demand her immediate resignation and support the mounting call for
her ouster, if she refuses to step down.
Dubbed “On Line Petition Campaign RESIGN NOW”, the
petition was launched June 23, at Kusina Filipino in
Seattle, Washington, attended by Rene Rivera of the Philippine-U.S.
Solidarity Organization, Ace Saturay of the Filipino Workers Action Center,
Freedom Siyam of Bayan-USA and other leading Filipino leaders in U.S. One
of the highlights was the presentation of the “Hello Harci, Hello Ma’m”
ring tones and video showing.
The petition cites as
reasons fraud and corruption which the alleged wiretapped conversations
reportedly proves; failure to protect Filipino immigrants in the U.S.
against the racist attacks of the Bush administration; driving the country
to greater economic crisis; and the killings of activists and
implementation of repressive fascist measures.
In the face of all
these, the petition declares that Macapagal-Arroyo has “lost all
credibility to serve as President of the
National Day of Protest
OFWs from Hong Kong
to New York participated in the National Day of Protest by holding actions
in their respective cities.
Migrante International said that Filipinos in major cities across the
U.S., in Vancouver, Canada and Hong Kong showed their unity with the
groups clamoring for Macapagal-Arroyo’s ouster and demanding for her to
come clean about the “massive electoral fraud” she committed in the last
Among the activities
organized included flooding the Philippine consulate in Los Angeles with
protest calls for the president to resign, holding of simultaneous
rallies, “informational pickets” and petition signings in New York,
and Hong Kong.
The activities in the
U.S. were led by Bayan-U.S.A. while Siklab, an organization of Filipino
migrants, is among the organizers of the Vancouver rally. The United
Filipinos in Hong Kong (UniFil HK) led the activities in the area.
Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante Sectoral Party chair, said that while
Migrante joins Robert Tarongoy and his family in marking his return to the
Philippines, the media reports about the tragic fate two other OFWs in the
Middle East “should remind Gloria how OFWs pay a high price for the
continued failure of Gloria’s national economic program.” This, she said,
forces Filipino workers to work as part of the government’s labor export
In Bahrain, Grace Nodalo, 39, a Filipino bank teller was reported
kidnapped by an unknown group outside her residence in Bahrain the morning
of June 21. In Saudi Arabia, Filipino domestic worker Sapia Ibrahim Usman,
37 years old, lies in the hospital, declared as brain dead by doctors
after jumping from the third floor of her employer’s home in Jubail on the
early afternoon of June 14, two days after she arrived in Saudi Arabia.
Karaoke version of
The cultural arm of Migrante, Sining Bulosan, on the other hand launched
its versions of the “Hello Garci” tapes. Unlike the ring tones which are
short, Sining Bulosan’s satirical songs, based on the popular tunes
Dayang-Dayang and Parang Kailan Lang, are full length songs.
“We’re going to produce and disseminate karaoke versions of these songs
and our main audiences will be OFWs and their families,” Danny Fabella,
well-known composer and one of the leaders of the cultural group, said.
“This way, karaoke get-together sessions for homesick Pinoys will also be
venues where they can discuss and uncover the truth regarding the Hello
“At kung hindi pa
rin ‘kakanta’ si Gloria tungkol sa kanyang malawakang pandaraya, kami ang
kakanta para sa katotohanan – kasama ang migrante at sambayanan,” (And
if Gloria will not talk about the widespread fraud, we are the ones who
will sing about the truth, together with OFWs and the people), Fabella
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© 2004 Bulatlat
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