Angry Fil-Ams protest pork scam

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Filipino Americans protest pork in front of the New York Philippine Consulate. PHOTO by Elton Lugay

NEW YORK CITY—Let’s see now. When was the last time we Filipinos got so angry we marched on the streets to scream, curse and throw insults out of rage?

I remember being at EDSA 1 in 1986 where millions came out in defiance of the Marcos Dictatorship. That was totally spontaneous. I don’t remember calling a friend saying, “Hey let’s meet at Greenhills and then we can have coffee afterwards.” I remember watching TV and seeing people pouring out into the streets. Inflamed by that scene, the

husband and I got on a jeepney in our “tsinelas” and joined the swelling crowd.

I had left the country by the time EDSA 2 happened in 2001, but I doubt I would have joined even if I were back home. The corruption of Joseph Estrada may have been a big issue then but for some reason, it did not get me all riled up maybe because Filipinos knew they were up against an individual with no scruples but voted him anyway.

A protester from Damayan grassroots organization. PHOTO by Elton Lugay

At last Sunday’s rally outside the Philippine Consulate building, I was feeling pretty riled up about the P10 billion pork barrel that went to several lawmakers’ bogus foundations, all of them orchestrated by one military wife, the shameless Janet Napoles. So were many of the protesters.

Are we talking 13-, 15-year outbursts? Is that how long it takes for Filipinos’ patience to snap to the point where they make the decision to join a protest rally and cry “tama na, sobra na” with similarly enraged others? Marcos was a despot for 14 years before he finally got the boot from People Power.

“Nakakainis,” echoed at least three people I spoke to at the Consulate rally of August 25: businesswoman Gloria Cabrera, New Jersey resident Shirley Asunto and retired school teacher Lumen Castaneda. They said all those years we immigrants toiled long, backbreaking hours in America, our remittances went to false NGOs of these politicians.

“Kayod tayo ng kayod, nakaw sila ng nakaw.”

Think of all the fundraising many young FilAms have done to help Filipinos in times of disasters and calamities, said community activist Steven Raga. “Band-aids won’t work anymore; taking to the streets is the only effective treatment.”

Domestic worker Linda Oalican of Damayan said the problem is “historical.” Graft and corruption has long plagued Philippine politics. It’s the reason, said Michelle Saulon of National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, “4,500 Filipinos are forcibly migrating every day” for better opportunities around the world.

Despite all the strides in the economy, railed lawyer Merit Salud of the Movement for a Free Philippines, the country “remains a nation of poor people which sends her children to work abroad so that they may have a chance to live human lives.”

Ana Liza Caballes of Ugnayan ng mga Anak ng Bayan said Filipino Americans do care about the corruption that happens back home. When politicians pocket pork barrel funds, “they are not only stealing money they are also stealing our dreams and aspirations and the opportunity to have our family members stay in our homeland.” If the country were better run, there would be no need, said Gary Labao of the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, “to leave the Philippines” to work abroad as maids and nannies.

The struggle is far from over, said hotel manager Don Servillas. “People Power did not end with the ouster of Marcos.”

Remember 2016 when the next national election comes around, cried businesswoman Loida Nicolas Lewis of the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance. “Let’s vote the rascals out.”

That’s three years from now. Let’s all remain angry and be ready with our votes. With reports from Elton Lugay

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  • Serom

    And to think that every end of the year, congress and senate publish the list of the richest among them shamelessly when in fact they got their riches from hard-earned taxpayers money they abused and corrupted. What a shame! They got the nerves! We should trash them out.

  • I_am_a_citizen_of_the_world

    Lets scrutinize every politician come 2016.

    If there should be an online-way where we can see the each politician in trump cards way – the better so that Filipinos around the world will judge. We as taxpayers will raise the bar of a public servant’s qualifications.

    We will scrutinize their moral leanings, their stand on issues that matters to every Filipino. 3 years to go!

    • Bonggebongge

      Kasali ako dyan…kupalin natin ang mga politicians lalo na ang mga dynasties…

  • UrHONOR

    BAKIT ba bigla kong na-aala-ala ang French revolution at yong ginawa ng mga peasants sa mga royalties noon (SINeyt and CONgrease ngayon) na isa-isang tinapyasan ng mga ano ang mga TNL na abusado sa harap ng madla na walang-tigil ang pagpapalakpak at paghiyaw ng katuwaan sa pangyayari. Na-aala-ala ko din yong ginawa sa kay Nicolas at Alexandra at buong pamilya. Si Nicolae at Elena Ceausescu. Sadam. Moammar. Mga korap na tauhan ni Batista sa Cuba. Somoza. Ampb.

    • Olioz

      Kayanin kaya natin ang ganoon? Tayo’y likas na maawain…. Pero sige nga, masubukan baka tumino na ng tuluyan ang mga namamahala.

      • UrHONOR

        TAMA ka sa sinabi mong MAAWAIN ang Pinoy….isang katangiang nakintil sa ating kultura simula ng ang bayan ay sakupin ng mga TNL na kastila sa pagkukunwari na tutulungan ang mga mamamayan…yon pala ginto’t yaman ng kalikasan ang pinuntirya nila. Lahat ng kalupaan ng bansa ay inangkin nila at pinamigay sa mga kasamahan nila…sundalo, katulong, miron, etc. Ang pinakamarami at pinakamalaking parteng nakuha ay ang simabahang katolika. Hanggang ngayon, malaki at malawak pa din ang pag-aari ng nasabing samahan.

        Ilang ulit na tayong pina-iikot-ikot ng ating mga kapwa-Pilipino sa panggugulang, pero, yon na nga, maawain. Magagalit ng isang sandali, tapos…TAPOS NA! Saan nakuha ang ganyang kaisipan? Sa turong FORGIVE and FORGET. Tamang prinsipyo pero maling paggamit. Sinipa si Marcos matapos nagtiis ng halos 20 taon- o mahigit pa. Tapos, ano? Hayun, namamayagpag na naman ang mga fruits from the poison tree. Lahat ay nakabalik- pati ang mga alipores, at, tulad ng dati, HARI-HARI pa din. Si Estrada, pinatalsik din sa Malacañang sa salang PANDARAMBONG. Nakulong ng maraming taon. Tapos, ano? Hayun, Mayor pa ng Manila…at ang mga anak sa loob at sa labas at mga kamag-anakan ay namamayagpag din tulad ng mga Marcos. Si Arroyo, na noon ay nagtatago nung panahon ni Marcos….halos tadyakan din ng mga mamamamayan. Tapos, ano? Hayun, Congressman ng pangalawang ulit na! Ewan ko nga ba kung talagang maawain o masokista ang mga kabayan. Galit-na-galit sa isang sandali, tapos iboboto sa kapangyarihan yong kinagagalitan nila. Nakakakurta ng utak kung isipin. Sala sa lamig, sala sa init.

        Maaring hindi sa siglo o panahon natin….pero napipiho ko na darating-at-darating din ang panahon na minsan pang didiligin ng dugo ang bansa upang ito ay magkaroon ng malawakang pagbabago sa paraan ng pamumuhay at pamamalakad ng gobierno. Deep-cleansing ang kinakailangan para matuto at mapatino ang mga kabayan. Isang pagkakamali, may kagyat na katapat na parusa—hindi kutos o tampal sa batok, kundi bayoneta sa tagiliran. Tiyak mag-iingat ang lahat na gumawa ng pagkakamali….at tiyak na uunlad ang takbo ng pamumuhay ng bayan sa ganitong paraan. Ito ay isang paksang matagal na pag-uusapan dahil sa mga PROS and CONS….pero sa aking pananaw, sa karanasan na dinananas at dinandanas ng bansa, yan ang tanging nalalabing paraan para ma-ilagay sa ayos ang pamuuhay sa bayan.

  • albert13

    nagbabayad ba ng taxes sa pinas ang mga filams?

    • Olioz

      Hello, nagpapadala kaya sila ng remittances nila at siyang pinanggagastos ng mga kaanak dito. Bawat bili mo dito sa Pinas may kaakibat na E-vat. Hello?

      • walaywalay

        Remittances go to the families of the OFW—NOT to the government–the families in turn spend the money in the RP–but what is lost is billions of $$$ IN TAXES and $$$ the OFW spend in foreign countries to live there

        >>> Let’s see now. When was the last time we Filipinos got so angry we showed it at the voting booth by electing NO POLITICAL DYNASTY MEMBER TO OFFICE?
        NEVER?
        So who should we really blame for the crooks who hold office–other than the ones who put them there–the voters!!!!!
        SHOW YOUR ANGER BY NOT VOTING FOR THEM!!!

    • SoulEdge

      nagpapadala ng dollars

    • Dagul2

      Yung remittance na ipinadadala nang mga nasa abroad, na ginagastos ng mga pamilya nila diyan sa Pinas ay may tax. Tumaas ang dollar reserve ng Pilipinas dahil sa mga OFW. Kasama na dito yung mga nasa America, Europe, Middle East, Australia at New Zealand. Maliwanag na ba sa yo?

      • albert13

        are these filams paying their taxes to the philippine or US government? kung kahit ang pagdura ng banyaga pag pumunta ng pinas ay may tax, taxpayers rin ba ang mga banyaga? iyong nagbabayad ng tax sa pilipinas gumagastos rin kagaya ng pamilya ng filams at lahat na gastos ay may kasamang tax. pakipaliwanag mo nga dahil maliwanag iyan sa iyo?

      • PurpleDaisy13

        Fil-Ams may be paying both.

        Primarily US taxes while remittance money they send to the Philippines go indirectly to paying Philippine Taxes through their families.

        Or despite not sending any remittance money, they still have the right to encourage and support the fight against any and all types of Corruption within the Philippines government.

      • Dagul2

        These filams are paying their taxes to the US government. Some of them who are already retired and who are staying in the Philippines are paying their taxes to the Philippine government. Ngayon itong sinasabi mong pagdura ng banyaga kapag pumunta sa Pilipinas ay may tax ay hindi ko alam kung saang batas mo nabasa yun. Ngayon yung mga foreigner na bumubisita sa bansang Pilipinas ay may binabayaran din naman sa gobyerno hindi nga lang tax ang tawag. Ito ay ang terminal fee sa NAIA. AT maging ang mga kababayan nating Pilipino na nagbabakasyon sa Pilipinas ay nagbabayad din ng terminal fee. So malaki ang contribution ng mga Filam, OFW, mga Turistang banyaga sa ekonomiya ng Pilipinas. Ikaw Albert13 ano ang contribution mo sa ekonomiya ng Pilipinas?

  • sanjuan683

    Wala kayo karapatan mag protest dahil American citizen na kayo. Sa US kayo mag protest dahil sa kanila kayo nagbabayad ng TAX. Maliwanag ba mga EPAL na ito, problema namin ito dahil kaming tunay na Pinoy. hehehehe

    • Bonggebongge

      Pagbigyan mo na nagpapdala naman din ng Dollars mga yan…

    • Commentator

      I think lots of Fil-Am has dual citizenship that is Filipino and American. That is why they have also all the rights to protests.

    • Saloi-CDR

      T A N G A ka pala sanjuan683! majority ng mga Pinoy sa US mga dual citizens, nagpapadala ng pera sa PInas at sa Pinas nag-be business.

    • boybakal

      sinong may sabing US citizen.
      Most of them are TNTs, di makauwi para magrally sa Pinas.

  • Cue_Vas

    You know how else Fil Ams and OFWs can help in the fight against corruption?
    They should take pictures /videos of politicians, government officials and their houses in the US etc. and while vacationing in Dubai etc. with their mistresses, paparazzi style, then post them in social media. LOL. Kung di natin maipakulong, ipahiya na lang natin or pag-awayin sila ni misis.

  • PagpagLasangPino-cchio

    Mga koykoys natin, you are slaves to corrupt officials in the Phils ! Just think of it, they are sending you all abroad by the millions to look for jobs bec in return you return dollar remittances. As part of the remittances, they get a fair share one way or the other. That is the sickness thats running this govt since time in memorial…..

  • jgl414567

    Nagbebenta kasi ng boto ang maraming tangang botanteng Pilipino kaya nananalo pa din mga kawatang politiko. Dapat din matinding parusa sa mga taong nagbebenta ng mga boto nila!

  • spiritnsoul700

    A clear insight of what it is going to be like if were to invest in The Philippines,

    If they can rob their own fellow citizens of their hard earn money , what more when they will tried to manipulate foreign investors accounts.

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