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Home Balitang Migrante Marcos Jr. gets “failing grade” from Filipino-Canadians in BC

Marcos Jr. gets “failing grade” from Filipino-Canadians in BC

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Marcos Jr. gets “failing grade” from Filipino-Canadians in BC

BAYAN-Canada Press Release

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Repeated shouts of “Shame!” and “Failure!” echoed at the Metrotown Skytrain station on July 23 as Filipino-Canadian groups and solidarity friends held a protest rally to mark the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Around a hundred protesters from groups allied with the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)-Canada, solidarity friends, and community leaders converged at British Columbia’s third most populous city to hold their own “People’s” SONA.

Speakers representing sectoral organizations of women, youth, and migrant workers took turns denouncing the Marcos administration for worsening the living conditions of millions of Filipinos. They decried the continuation of economic policies of the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte by the current President Marcos Jr “that have worsened poverty while enriching a few.”

“We need to fight to demand for better living conditions in the Philippines because more and more Filipinos are forced to go abroad despite the hardships of working in other countries,” said Jaela Villegas, Vice Chair of BAYAN-Canada.

The speakers also decried the worsening human rights conditions in the Philippines, especially attacks on political dissenters, human rights defenders, and those critical of the Marcos Jr. administration.

“The Marcos Jr. administration is a continuation of the Duterte regime in terms of anti-people economic policies and political repression,” said Kristine, member of Gabriela BC. She said many women activists have been killed, harassed, and arrested based on trumped-up criminal charges, and labeled as “terrorists” under the controversial Anti-Terrorism Law.

Chris Sorio, Secretary General of Migrante BC, said the Marcos Jr. administration “miserably failed” in addressing the problems of millions of migrants and their families. “Like the previous government, his administration has failed to create more jobs in the Philippines that will address the continued exodus of Filipinos going abroad to seek better opportunities in order to support their families back home,” Sorio said.

Amado Mercado, Jr, President of the Philippine Construction Society, concerned community leader, and lead organizer of the Leni-Kiko campaign in the last Philippine national elections, exhorted the crowd to organize to be more united to fight against the corrupt Marcos Jr government as we fight for the interests of the Filipino people’s welfare. He ended his speech with “Let’s continue the fight. Don’t give up!”

Canadians from solidarity groups including the International League of People’s Struggles and Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights also joined the protests. Their representatives expressed support for calls to stop political repression in the Philippines and to address the basic economic needs of the Filipino people.

Aside from delivering speeches, participants read poems and performed songs. Others brought cupcakes and popular Filipino food isaw and banana cue to the festive rally. The protest rally culminated in a symbolic smashing of an effigy representing the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).

Marcos Jr. approved into law the controversial fund which is aimed at putting up a sovereign wealth fund to generate assets for the government. But BAYAN and other groups opposing the MIF have criticized the sourcing of funds from government financial institutions and the Central Bank.

“This is nothing but a gigantic cash cow and source of corruption of the Marcos family and their cronies at the expense of the people,” said Villegas. ###

Philippine Asian News Today Vol 25 No 14 (fliphtml5.com)