MIGRANTE Ontario Youth

Advancing the rights and welfare of Filipino youth

Archive for April, 2008

Progressive Philippine Congress representatives in Toronto – April 2008

Posted by anakbayantoronto on April 8, 2008

CRISIS IN THE PHILIPPINES:
Corruption, Repression and People’s Resistance

Two long-time activists, now members of Philippine Congress representing women and workers’ movements, are visiting Canada to call on the Canadian government to stop supporting the repressive and corrupt regime of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Under the guise of the war on terror, President Arroyo is waging a violent crackdown on people’s organizations and government critics. More than 800 social activists, human rights advocates, progressive politicians, journalist, lawyers and judges have been assassinated. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and summary executions attributes many of the killings to the military. Massive protests demanding President Arroyo’s resignation amidst allegation of corruption bring to mind the 1986 People Power movement that ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Join guests Rep. Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Partylist and Rep. Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Partylist
Wednesday, April 9 at 6:00PM
Ontario Institute For Studies in Education
252 Bloor St. West
(Above St. George Subway)
Rm# 5-260 (5th Floor)

For more information: Ramon Grajo: 416.486.8428

Co-sponsored by: Philippine Legislators Organizing Group-International Tour, Centre for Women’s Studies in Education at OISE, Bayan-Canada Organizing Committee, Migrante-Ontario, Toronto-York Region Labour Council, Justice and Global Ecumenical Relations Unit of the UCC, Philippine Network for Justice and Peace, Labour Education Center, Asian Solidarity Network, KAIROS, BASICS Free Community Newspaper, Toronto Women’s Bookstore

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PULONG BAYAN (Community Meeting):
Up-close and Personal with Satur Ocampo
A chance to talk with your Congress representative

From business journalist to long-time activist and long-time political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship… Now Bayan Muna partylist president and outstanding Congressman, Rep. Satur Ocampo — deputy minority leader and head of the Independent bloc — is coming to Toronto to talk with kababayans on the crisis in the country of the Arroyo presidency.

No real growth in the economy, over 3,000 a day heading abroad, unbridled corruption charges against the First Family, unrest in the lower ranks of the military, mass protests… Are we nearing the end of the Arroyo presidency? What are the possible ways forward for the Philippines?

Come, hear and meet our representative. Be heard and express your concerns. There may not be another chance with the growing crisis!

Sunday, April 13 at 2:00pm
Fr. Madden Hall, Carr Hall
St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
100 St. Joseph Street

(between Bay St. and Queen’s Park Cr. East,
north of Wellesley St.)

Co-sponsored by: Migrante Ontario, Bayan-Canada Organizing Committee, Santaginian Association of Ontario, Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture, Community Alliance for Social Justice, Philippine Press Club of Ontario, United Steelworkers, Filipino Students’ Association of Toronto

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Philippine Vignettes: A Photo Exhibition by Alex Felipe

Posted by anakbayantoronto on April 8, 2008

Here is an exhibit that one of our good friends, photographer Alex Felipe, is conducting.

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Opening Night: 8 April @ 7:30pm.
Runs Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 7:30pm
to Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 1:30pm
Cafe Tinto
89 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto, Ontario

Alex Felipe is a Filipino-Canadian photographer that has just returned to Toronto after spending three months following the human rights situation in his mother country—which included a disturbing Canadian connection.

The Philippines is a country stuck in the cycle of poverty shared by many other so-called developing nations. Sixty-nine million (out of a population of ninety-one million) are living on $2/day or less.

Corruption, neo-colonial policies, and human rights abuses are the norm. According to the latest corruption survey by Berlin-based Transparency International rates the country the worst in Southeast Asia.

The current administration, led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is accused of almost 900 extrajudicial killings and almost 200 disappearances—as well as torture, illegal detention, and displacement. UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alson visited the country in 2007 and his scathing report confirms much of this.

This exhibition will present an overview of the Philippine situation. From the family members of those killed, disappeared, and those under threat; to images from inside a prison holding accused terrorists; to protest rallies; and finally to a Canadian connection to these horrors.

Canada is one of the world’s largest mining nations. Over half of the world’s mining companies (and 2/3rds of the world’s mining exploration companies) are traded on the TSX. The Philippines is incredibly rich in mineral resources, it’s ranked second in terms of geological prospectively, and second in gold production (per land unit).

Two Canadian mining sites will be shown. Placer Dome/Barrick Gold on Marinduque Island, where three different sites have become contaminated with mine waste resulting in the loss of livelihood and extremely high incidences of heavy metal poisoning in the population. And Toronto Ventures Incorporated on Mt. Canatuan, Mindanao, where militarization, loss of livelihood, forced displacement, and looming health disasters threaten an indigenous community firmly against the mine’s presence.

According to respected human rights watchdog ‘Karapatan,’ the GMA regime (from 1 Jan to 31 October 2007) is accused of:

Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions… 68 // 209 in 2006, [Total: 887 (since 21.1.01)]
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances… 26 // 78 in 2006, [Total: 185]
Torture… 29
Illegal Detention… 116
Forcible Evacuation or Displacement… 7542

Karapatan 2007 Human Rights Report: http://stopthekillings.org/stknpv2/files/karapatan_2007hr_report.pdf

UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston confirmed much of this in his 2007 report and clearly points the finger at the government. To download his final report please visit:
http://stopthekillings.org/stknpv2/?q=resources/60/alston%E2%80%99s-final-report-rp-extrajudicial-killings

Mining Links:

The Association for Responsible Mining: http://www.communitymining.org/
MiningWatch: www.miningwatch.ca
Oxfam-Australia: www.oxfam.org.au/campaigns/mining

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