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Home BAYAN Canada/ MALAYA Canada Bayan, Malaya Canada host anti-Cha-cha online concert

Bayan, Malaya Canada host anti-Cha-cha online concert

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Bayan, Malaya Canada host anti-Cha-cha online concert
Artwork by Ed Muyot

Malaya Canada and Bayan Canada collaborated in an hour and a half online cultural event dubbed “Konsyerto Anti-ChaCha” on February 29,2024.

The online gathering was organized in response to a call from the Philippines to reject and oppose charter change.

Several artists, musicians, poets, and community leaders from the Philippines and Canada took part in cultural performances and solidarity messages.

In his opening remarks, Mong Palatino, Secretary General of Bayan Phils, urged Filipinos and supporters to keep fighting and never give up against attempts to amend the Philippine constitution. Palatino stated that the primary goal of charter revision is to eliminate term limits and increase the periods of elected officials, contrary to the Marcos Jr government’s assertion that its only interest is economic chacha.

Palatino went on to say that the charter change’s proponents’ claims that it will lead to economic progress are untrue. Palatino argued that there is no need to entice investors to the Philippines because investors own large corporations that dominate the Philippine industry.

Palatino also questioned the neoliberal paradigm, arguing that while investors can boost the Philippine economy, they really increase profits for foreigners and local partners. The end outcome is simply increased economic inequality in the country.

Finally, Palatino pointed out that chacha supporters accuse the current 1987 constitution of being anti-poor. However, Palatino claimed that the country is poor due to corruption, puppets that are submissive to foreign interests, and a rotting dynasty that rules the country.

Danilo Ramos of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), who has been red-tagged by the Marcos Jr regime, asks Filipinos in Canada to continue resisting all forms of repression, including an end to farmer killings in the Philippines.

Ramos mentioned and encouraged the event participants to remember those who offered their lives in the name of freedom and true democracy. He cited the Escalante farmers who were massacred during Marcos Sr.’s regime.

Danilo De Leon, chair of Migrante Canada, urged his Filipino colleagues and solidarity supporters to evaluate the implications of charter reform on migrant workers. De Leon stated that charter change, does not solve the challenges and concerns of migrant workers who continue to flee the Philippines in search of work overseas due to unemployment and poverty.

De Leon added that the government should focus on Migrante’s appeal to create jobs in the Philippines rather than sending Filipinos overseas to work.

According to De Leon, Migrante continues to advocate for the repeal of the Labor Export Policy (LEP), implying that charter change is not the solution to the Philippines’ political and economic crisis, but rather a system change that prioritizes industrialization over foreign ownership of Filipino enterprises.

Songs, poetry readings, and dramatic performances emphasize the Philippines’ political dilemma, which includes corruption, human rights violations, and imperialist control over Philippine politics, economy, and culture.

Performers included Gary Granada, Joel Saracho, Patria Rivera, Erie Maestro, Bagong Dugo, Chickoy Pura, Honoridez Jose, Milang Bongco, Performativo Manila, Nobel Queano, Larissa Maestro, Amanda Maestro Scherer, Jon Bustamante, Lara Maestro, Ron Papag, Levy Abad, Tom Agulto, Ricardo Jorge Caluen, Potri Rankamanis, Kinding Sindaw, Winwin Brothers, and Bong Ramilo.  Olivia Camacho, the convenor of Malaya emceed the event.

During the event, Boni Ilagan—a multi-award winning filmmaker, movie director, and screenwriter—thanked the organizers for their support of his future film about the abducted environmentalists Jolina Castro and Jhed Tamano. Ricky Esguerra, a member of the Filipino Writers and Journalists NetWork (FC-WJNet), read the message. Ilagan penned the screenplay for last year’s Oras de Peligro, which Malaya Canada released throughout Canada.

Julie De Lima, chair of the NDFP Peace Negotiating Panel, congratulated Malaya Canada and Bayan Canada for organizing the online concert against charter change.

De Lima encouraged Filipino compatriots and supporters to establish the broadest united front possible, using cultural activities in a variety of ways to engage and popularize Filipino sentiments opposing the charter change.

“I urge Malaya and Bayan and their solidarity friends to work ever harder and intensify their anti-chacha campaign to inform and mobilize the broadest range of the people in Canada and gain their moral and material support for the Filipino people in struggle, not only against chacha but also for the entire struggle for national and social liberation,” de Lima said in a message that Malaya Canada read at the Anti-Chacha online event.

Patricia Lisson, Bonifacio Ilagan, Treenee Lopez from Global Pinoy Diaspora, Migrante, and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas all expressed solidarity messages against chacha.

As the virtual gathering came to a close, Gary Granada performed Minsa’y Isang Bansa, a tribute to the EDSA revolution and the Filipino people’s ongoing struggle for national liberation through just and enduring peace.

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Reference: https://philippinereporter.com/index.php/2024/03/07/bayan-malaya-canada-host-anti-cha-cha-online-concert/