Photos & Text | Fil-Ams have ‘no trust’ in Aquino
July 31, 2014
Filipino-American activists held protests across the United States of America during the week of Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address, pointing out that they have “no trust” in the Philippine president due to corruption.
In a statement, Rhonda Ramiro, BAYAN USA Vice Chairperson said, “Corruption in the Philippines will never be eradicated while the president himself betrays the Filipino people’s trust.”
Bayan USA believes that Aquino has violated the Constitution by implementing the Disbursement Accelerated Program (DAP). “He centralized and controlled public funds through disingenuous acts and practices, and turned [the DAP] into his own presidential pork barrel,” Ramiro added.
Bernadette Ellorin, chairperson of BAYAN USA, meanwhile said, “Following the footsteps of his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Aquino proves to be just another puppet regime riddled with human rights violations, corruption scandals, and neo-liberal economic policies.”
Aside from the pork barrel and DAP scandal, activists also highlighted the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which threatens to further destroy the Philippine economy, and Oplan Bayanihan, a counter-insurgency program that results in massive human rights violations.
Gabriela meanwhile scored the failure to address human trafficking due to “Aquino’s lack of commitment to the welfare of Filipinos, which extends to migrant citizens in the USA.”
According to the women’s group, the plight of more than 200 trafficked Filipino teachers still hang in the balance, as the hunt for their trafficker, Isidro Rodriguez, continues after the latter was released from prison in the Philippines.
Ramiro emphasized, “There’s no room for negotiation. Aquino must be held accountable for his actions, because two more years of the same is two years too long!”
More photos of protest actions held in front of Philippine embassies and consulates in the USA:
Text by Hiyasmin Quijano