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Heroes of Filipino migrant workers honored

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Heroes of Filipino migrant workers honored


By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – Then pastor of the United Methodist Church English Speaking (MCES) in Wanchai, Hong Kong, Bishop Solito Toquero witnessed the many hardships overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) faced in Hong Kong.

“There was one domestic helper who suffered a nervous breakdown. We brought her to the psychiatric ward of the hospital. Another was a victim of rape. We filed a case against the Chinese lawyer who was eventually detained, with the support of various churches,” Bishop Toquero said. “There were many detained migrant workers, not only Filipinos but also Indonesians. We campaigned for their release– Iraqis, Africans and citizens of other nations–who were imprisoned without reason.”
Along with his late wife Alegria, Bishop Toquero administered the Methodist Shelter for terminated and distressed domestic workers. From 1996 to 2001, he was also active in the prison ministry for migrant workers.
The good bishop is one of the recipients of the first ever Gawad Migrante, an award given by the Migrante International, a global organization of OFWs, to those who devoted their lives in championing the rights of Filipino migrants, especially the neglected and the abused.

Bishop Toquero, now co-chairman of the Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum and vice chairman of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), humbly received the award, saying: “I am surprised. I don’t think I already deserve this.”

When he was assigned as a resident bishop of the UMC- Manila Episcopal Area in 2001, Bishop Toquero initiated the ministry program for migrants. Even as he retired as a bishop in 2009, he has continued to support the activities of OFWs.

In her opening speech, Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairwoman of Migrante Sectoral Party, said they looked back at history and searched for the most deserving individuals and organizations. The awarding ceremony on Dec. 13 was part of the Migrante International’s 15th anniversary celebration.

Trailblazers 

The Migrante International found it appropriate to give posthumous awards to the pioneers of the Filipino migrant workers movement as early as the 1930s.

First to be recognized was Carlos Bulosan, author of the book America is in the Heart.
Born to a peasant family in Binalonan, Pangasinan, Bulosan grew up in poverty. To augment the family’s income, he decided to work in the United States. He arrived in Seattle in July 1930 at the age of 17, without money and at that time, could not speak English.

Migrante International chairman Garry Martinez and secretary general Gina Esguerra confer the posthumous award to Carlos Bulosan.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)
Bulosan worked on the farm, in hotels and factories and experienced discrimination and difficulties. He joined unions, eventually becoming a union leader. When he got sick, he wrote his famous book, exposing the hardships and struggles of Filipinos and other migrant workers in the US. He died of bronchopneumonia on Sept. 11, 1956.
One of his descendants, Elizabeth Domaoal-Basanes, received the award.

Leaders of the 1965 Delano grape strike Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz were also awarded the Gawad Migrante.

Itliong and Vera Cruz mobilized thousands of Filipino farm workers in Delano, California, then the lowest-paid workers. Eventually, Mexican-Americans joined, resulting in the formation of the United Farm Workers of America in August 1966. The strike lasted until 1970 and paved the way for a collective bargaining agreement with the table-grape growers, representing more than 10,000 farm workers.

Itliong served as assistant director of Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, precursor of the UFW. Later, he became its national boycott coordinator. After the strike, Itliong served as president of the Filipino American Political Alliance, the first national political organization of Filipino-Americans in the US.
Itliong died in 1977 at the age of 63. In Carlson, California, Larry Itliong Day is celebrated every 25th of October, his birthday.

Tony Doroni of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (Nafcon-USA) accepted the award. Doroni met Vera Cruz in the 1990s in California. “As an organizer, I look up to Vera Cruz as my model,” he said.
Another union leader, Pedro Calosa, was also given the posthumous award. He led strikes of Filipinos in the plantations in Hawaii in 1924. After the strike, he was deported back to the Philippines. By 1929, he started organizing the Ilocano Colorum of peasants. He led the Tayug Uprising on January 11, 1931 against feudal exploitation. He was killed by state forces in 1967..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/12/22/heroes-of-filipino-migrant-workers-honored/

'US trajectory on Syria ‘a self-generating path to war' (w/ Video)



'US trajectory on Syria ‘a self-generating path to war'


Washington has once again slammed the Syrian regime, warning of new international measures unless it withdraws security forces from the streets. But a US-based political cartoonist says human rights are merely a cover for America’s real intentions.

­“I think we are going to look at the usual trajectory of ramping up the sanctions, trying to deny diplomatic recognition and cutting off all economic activity between Syria and US allies in the region,” Ted Rall told RT. “These things almost have a logical ramping up that you see in one crisis after the other. It’s almost like it’s a self-generating path to a future war, and it becomes even more pronounced at a time when the United States is winding down its involvement in Iraq.”.... MORE

Source: RT.com

URL: http://rt.com/news/syria-usa-war-rights-407/

Anti-SOPA activists find ways to keep the Internet free

Anti-SOPA activists find ways to keep the Internet free


As Americans ready for a legislation that will impose a government-sanctioned firewall over the Internet, the elite computer-literate hacktivists attacking the law are finding ways to circumvent the passing of SOPA.

If the House and Senate have their way, the Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA, will leave Capitol Hill soon and seemingly cloak the Internet with Congress-created blockades that will shun every user of the World Wide Web from a whole slew of content, including music, videos and, in a nutshell, knowledge. Under the legislation, violation will yield massive fines and imprisonment — all for such action as uploading videos to YouTube. While the legislation is being delivered as a way to deal with copyright infringement and piracy on the Web, the law itself will severely cut down the free-flow of information online and would make something as simple as singing karaoke a crime if the footage ever finds an audience on the Web.... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/internet-sopa-pipa-anonymous-377/

Inequality in modern-day America is worse than Ancient Rome

Inequality in modern-day America is worse than Ancient Rome

The 99 percent has found an ally 2,500 years in the past. It just so happens that it’s with those that found themselves in the Ancient Roman plebian and slave classes.

According to research done recently by historians Walter Schiedel and Steven Friesen, cited by Per Square Mile's Tim De Chant, the income inequality gap in modern day America is far greater than the separation within the societies during the days of Julius Caesar. During the Ancient Roman Republic, says the duo’s study published in Per Square Mile, the top one percent controlled 16 percent of society’s wealth. If you fire up the Delorean and go from the Diocletian Empire to twenty-first century USA, you’ll see that things are a little more uneven. Today, that one percent on top controls 40 percent of the country’s wealth..... MORE

SourceRT.com

URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/inequality-ancient-percent-empire-287/

Outbreak: Man-made super-flu formula to be published?

Outbreak: Man-made super-flu formula to be published?


A man-made virus that could wipe out half humanity has been deemed a terrorist threat. And while the scientists behind the Frankenstein-flu hoped their research would help find a cure, critics fear they have developed the ultimate bio-weapon.

When virologist Ron Fouchier and his team of scientists first "mutated the hell out of” the H5N1 bird flu virus and presented their findings this past September, fear spread like contagion across the Internet.

But it is not just panic-prone bloggers who are up in arms about the latest virus..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://rt.com/news/super-flu-terrorist-threat-251/

Christmas (Part II) VIEWPOINTS Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 12/22/2011

Christmas (Part II)

VIEWPOINTS
Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz
12/22/2011
Christmas does not only forward sublime truths but also bear practical realities. It is not only a propitious occasion for a big celebration but also a reason for serious reflection. This is not meant to take away the usual joys and delights brought about by Christmas — especially among the Filipinos. This is simply intended to call attention to the deeper significance of certain Christmas practices usually taken for granted by a good number of people — well meaning though they are.

Needless to say, Christmas being a most profound event with likewise most serious implications, quasi interminable as well as unfathomable facts can be readily invoked and pondered about in conjunction therewith..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20111222com6.html

DND chief’s plan to ‘constrict’ AFP bared By Charlie V. Manalo and Michaela P. del Callar 12/22/2011

MAJOR COMMANDS TO BE ABOLISHED AS NOY GOES ON SPRATLY’S WARPATH

DND chief’s plan to ‘constrict’ AFP bared

By Charlie V. Manalo and Michaela P. del Callar 12/22/2011

House Assistant Majority Leader and Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles yesterday bared that the Department of National Defense (DND) is on the verge of an organizational experiment that will constrict the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) by abolishing many of its major commands, including its key civil military operations components.

President Aquino, at the same time, appears to be gearing up for war over the Spratlys, as the Philippines will be seeking a squadron or 12 F-16fighter jets from the United States.

Nograles said the DND should restudy this plan as this is absolutely counter-productive and runs counter AFP Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) ‘Bayanihan’ which is the core of the Aquino administration’s reform program for the AFP..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111222hed1.html

Palparan eludes arrest; gov’t orders manhunt By Benjamin B. Pulta and Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 12/22/2011

Palparan eludes arrest; gov’t orders manhunt

By Benjamin B. Pulta and Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 12/22/2011

With the police returning empty-handed after seeking to arrest retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan in his residence, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered a manhunt for Palparan and one of his men who remain at large in connection with the pending criminal charges against them for the abduction of two student-activists.

Speaking to newsmen, De Lima said “efforts to locate Palparan and (retired M/Sgt. Rizal) Hilario are thus far unsuccessful, hence I directed the NBI arresting team led by Region 3 chief Ric Diaz in coordination with PNP-CIDG to conduct manhunt operations against them.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111222hed4.html

Disease fears grow as ‘Sendong’ toll tops 1,000 12/22/2011

Disease fears grow as ‘Sendong’ toll tops 1,000

12/22/2011
Thousands of flood victims are at risk of water-borne diseases and infections, officials yesterday warned as the death toll rose above a thousand.

More than 44,000 people who have lost their homes and belongings are living in makeshift relief centers five days after tropical storm “Sendong” brought heavy rains, flash floods and overflowing rivers that swept whole coastal villages away in Mindanao, and officials fear the sites are potential breeding grounds for epidemics.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) put the death toll at 1,026 as more bodies were recovered yesterday in Lanao del Norte and Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao and warned it could climb further as victims swept out to sea began washing ashore, with some cadavers turning up nearly a hundred kilometers away..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20111222hed6.html

Noynoy brags on AFP reforms but fails to admonish PN’s profligate spending By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 12/22/2011 President Aquino went on a bragging spree about the alleged reforms that he has instituted in the Armed Forces of Philippines but failed to censure Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama for wasting government funds for a lavish Christmas Party at the posh Manila Hotel. Speaking during the 76th AFP Day at the AFP General Headquarters Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo Quezon City, Aquino bandied about his “government’s unwavering support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) not only in terms of equipment modernization but also in providing their much-deserved benefits to buttress their efforts in defending the country and the Filipino people.”

Noynoy brags on AFP reforms but fails to admonish PN’s profligate spending

By Virgilio J. Bugaoisan 12/22/2011
President Aquino went on a bragging spree about the alleged reforms that he has instituted in the Armed Forces of Philippines but failed to censure Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Alexander Pama for wasting government funds for a lavish Christmas Party at the posh Manila Hotel.

Speaking during the 76th AFP Day at the AFP General Headquarters Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo Quezon City, Aquino bandied about his “government’s unwavering support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) not only in terms of equipment modernization but also in providing their much-deserved benefits to buttress their efforts in defending the country and the Filipino people.”.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111222nat3.html

Anakbayan youth group blames gov’t for Mindanao tragedy 12/22/2011

Anakbayan youth group blames gov’t for Mindanao tragedy

12/22/2011
The national youth group Anakbayan condemned President Aquino administration for its direct hand in the massive floods in Northern Mindanao which has taken the lives of thousand Filipinos.

The group also condemned in Aquino’s last Tuesday speech in Cagayan de Oro city for blaming the tragedy on the victims themselves in his effort to cool down the growing public outrage against his administration.

“We reiterate that it is the Aquino regime which is to be blamed for the tragedy. First, because Noynoy himself removed the funding for disaster preparedness in the 2011 national budget. Not a single centavo of the P5 billion ‘Calamity Fund’ went to Northern Mindanao or any other part in the country for that matter to do about natural disasters. Second, because he continued to allow massive ‘legal’ logging and mining to wreak havoc the environment. These are some of the causes for the denudation of our forests and mountains, which in turn lessens the capacity of our soil to absorb rainwater,” the group said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20111222nat2.html

Customs authorities at NAIA on alert vs ‘bird flu’ virus By Conrado Ching 12/22/2011

Customs authorities at NAIA on alert vs ‘bird flu’ virus

By Conrado Ching 12/22/2011

Customs authorities at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport was ordered to closely monitor all arriving passengers from the former Crown Colony to prevent the entry of avian flu virus into the country following the announcement of Hong Kong authorities that they found a dead chicken at the city’s main wholesale market positive for the “bird flu” virus.

Deputy Collector for Passenger Services Thess Roque ordered all the Customs examiners at NAIA to be vigilant and inspect all belongings of incoming passengers, including cargoes arriving from Hong Kong and intercept all poultry products..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111222met1.html

EcoWaste coalition calls for ‘Simpleng Pasko’ By Jason Faustino 12/22/2011

EcoWaste coalition calls for ‘Simpleng Pasko’

By Jason Faustino 12/22/2011

A citizens’ environmental watchdog yesterday gathered at Plaza Miranda in front of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila to urge the public to celebrate Christmas sans extravagance and wastefulness in deference to the grave humanitarian crisis unfolding in Northern Mindanao.

The EcoWaste Coalition lighted candles and called for “Simpleng Pasko” (Simple Christmas) amid the heartrending devastation left by tropical storm “Sendong” in Mindanao that took the lives of over 1,000 people and left thousands mourning and homeless..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/metro/20111222met5.html

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