Tuesday, June 21, 2005

HK Overseas Filipinos Greet Arroyo Visit With Protest

Members of the Asian Students Association regional secretariat joined Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong in their protest yesterday at the Island Shangri-la, where Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was stationed for a one-day visit to the territory.

The president opted to visit the business community while apparently ignoring the Filipino community who has been questioning her recent involvement in the rigged 2004 national elections.

Some 30 protesters flanked the sidewalk fronting the hotel and called for her ouster.

To read more, here is the statement issued by the United Filipinos in Hong Kong.


Press Release
20 June 2005

For reference: Dolores Balladares
Tel Nos: 28104379, 97472986

“GMA should stop dodging and face the music”
HK OFWs challenge GMA to face community on controversy

Instead of running abroad, deflecting the issue, issuing threats, and drumming up the hysteria of destabilization, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo must squarely face the allegations of her fraudulent presidency and corruption-ridden rule. She owes it to the Filipino people.

This was declared by the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-HK) in a picket protest at the Island Shangri-la Hotel on the occasion of GMA’s meeting today with business people of Hong Kong to show them that she’s still in control of the country.

“If she really won fairly and squarely in the last elections as what she has been bragging, why doesn’t she face the ‘mother of all tapes’ fairly and squarely as well? No amount of dodging from the real issues shall save her now,” said Dolores Balladares, UNIFIL-HK chairperson.

Instead of veering away from the real issue of election fraud, Balladares added, Mrs. Arroyo is instead fanning fears of destabilization plots to scare the Filipino people.

“She is the greatest destabilizer in the country. She has destabilized it by her mudded credibility not only in the last elections but in all other anomalies that have beset her administration,” she declared.

Balladares also slammed the news that Mrs. Arroyo is planning to declare Martial Law anytime soon.

“Mrs. Arroyo is fast becoming the biggest fascist rivaling even former president Marcos. She has already threatened those that exposed the election scam. She has also clamped down on the media and threatened them with legal actions if they air the contents of the CD. Worse, she kills those that she cannot silence as experienced by activists and progressive groups.”

“Martial Law will be the final act of desperation of a president who did not even win her position,” she declared.

Balladares added that GMA’s visit to HK shows her “desperation to salvage her fast-sliding grip of the country” by putting up a front to the business community overseas and get their confidence and trust.

“However, it is the Filipino people’s trust and confidence that she is rapidly losing. How can you trust a cheat? How can you trust a president that rails against illegal gambling at every opportunity but turns a blind eye when it is her husband, brother-in-law and son who collect millions from jueteng?” she stressed.

According to the group, the absence of meeting the Filipino community in Mrs. Arroyo’s agenda in Hong Kong reflects her fear of facing the OFWs on the anomalies surrounding her position. This, UNIFIL relayed, was much different from her previous visit that was full of pomp and promises.

“She knows that even abroad, we are watching. And what we are seeing is her illegitimacy, incompetence, fascism and corruption. For Filipinos abroad, she’ll go down the same way as her disgraced predecessor,” Balladares stated.

Balladares reported that a “broad and massive” campaign, which shall be joined with the call to oust Mrs. Arroyo in the Philippines, is already being planned by OFW groups around the world. She said that groups such as the UNIFIL and other allied organizations of the militant Migrante International that figured prominently abroad during the Oust Estrada campaign are at the front of the brewing oust GMA movement overseas.

“The latest fiasco that Mrs. Arroyo found herself in just capped the restlessness felt by migrant Filipinos over her government. We are all too prepared to join in the chorus for Mrs. Arroyo’s ouster,” Balladares concluded.