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Friday, September 28, 2018

Malaya Movement Mobilizes on Martial Law Day Against Human Rights Abuses of Duterte Regime

Photo Christiaan Pfeifer

New York – This past Friday, September 21, 2018, the Malaya Movement, together with Bayan USA-Northeast, Anakbayan New York and New Jersey, GABRIELA New York and New Jersey, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), and the recently inaugurated Migrante USA, held a mobilization at the Philippine Consulate General of New York on the 46th anniversary of the 1972 declaration of martial law in the Philippines by ex-president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Old and new generations of activists alongside allied communities and organizations participated in the mobilization to remember the sacrifices of the Filipino people who fought against and overthrew the Marcos dictatorship, as well as remember all those who were arrested, tortured, and killed by the Marcos regime. The Malaya Movement recognizes that act of remembering is crucial in face of today’s gross historical revisionism, blatant denials, and calls to “move on,” even by those who were directly responsible and carried out atrocities during martial law.

The action sought to remind the world of the truth of what happened during martial law under Marcos, expose and call to end the atrocities of the current regime of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte including his imposition of and Congress’ complicity in extending martial law in the southern region of Mindanao, and denounce his open political support for the return to power of the Marcos family and former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the highest posts in the country despite the fact that they are guilty of plunder and crimes against the Filipino people.

Taking a stand against the repetition of this violent history and continuing the struggle, the Malaya Movement brought together various sectors to fight for the advancement of genuine democracy, human rights, and justice in the Philippines. All collectively called for an end to martial law in Mindanao, US military aid that continues to fund the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police who are perpetuating human rights abuses nationwide, the contractualization of Filipino workers, and the TRAIN law that has contributed to worsening economic conditions, the ongoing food crisis, and the highest inflation rate in nearly a decade and the highest among ASEAN countries.  All called to stop the killings in the Philippines and the silencing of journalists, and to unequivocally say no to dictatorship, fascism, and tyranny.

The program featured speakers from Anakbayan New York and New Jersey, Migrante New York and New Jersey, Gabriela New York, Bayan USA, and the Malaya Movement, as well as activists who fought against the dictatorship of Marcos decades ago.  Responding to Governor Imee Marcos’s claim that millennials have “moved on” from her father’s martial law and Duterte and Arroyo’s denial of abuses and plunder during their own presidencies, Malaya Movement Northeast Co-Coordinator Vina Orden said, “While you may try to erase the atrocities of the Marcos, Arroyo, and Duterte regimes from our history books, for as long as martial law survivors continue to tell their stories of what it’s really like to be detained and tortured as political prisoners, for so long as the children of survivors continue to deal with the emotional and psychological damage of our parents’ truth as well as their silences, for so long as millenials like many of those gathered here today continue to educate themselves...for so long as there are more of us who are committed to the truth, we will never forget what martial law was and is, and we won’t let any of you ‘move on’ unless you are held accountable for the ways that you continue to sell out Philippine sovereignty and the Filipino people.”  Old and new generations of activists participated in the symbolic act of ripping up and destroying images of Marcos and Duterte, chanting, “never again, never again, never again to martial law!”  The program ended with everyone singing the song “Awit ng Pag-asa.”

Photo Christiaan Pfeifer
The mobilization came on the heels of the announcement of the International People’s Tribunal’s guilty verdict against Duterte for crimes against humanity over gross systematic violations of human rights on September 20, 2018, in Brussels, Belgium. The proceedings and decision noted the politically motivated killings under the Duterte regime, massacres in Mindanao under martial law, the targeting and persecution of activists and journalists, vilification of women, militarization of Moro communities, violations of the socio-economic rights of the Filipino people, and how the Duterte administration’s anti-drugs, anti-loitering, and counterinsurgency programs have terrorized Filipino citizens, particularly the most marginalized sectors, including the urban poor, indigenous peoples, laborers, and peasants.

The Malaya Movement is committed to exposing Duterte’s abuses of power and attacks against democracy, standing in solidarity with those in the Philippines and around the world who are fighting against his looming dictatorship.  We will continue to use our voice and influence to uphold human rights and resist fascism and dictatorship in the Philippines. Forty-six years years ago Marcos forever altered the course of the Philippine history and the lives of the Filipino people when he signed Proclamation 1081, declaring martial law over the entire country. Forty-six years later, the Malaya Movement declares: never again and never forget.

The Philippines Reaffirms Commitment to International Pact that Seeks Better Treatment, Protection for Migrants

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano delivers his intervention during the high-level meeting on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration held Wednesday, 26 September, at the sides of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (RTVM Photo)

New York – The Philippines on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to an international agreement that seeks to provide better treatment and protection not only for the more than 10 million Filipinos living and working overseas but for migrants from other countries as well.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano gave the reaffirmation during a high-level meeting on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration that was held on the sides of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“Having millions of migrant Filipinos, we want the Global Compact to be a living document that translates into action, not one that is shelved and cited merely for its aspirations,” Secretary Cayetano said during the meeting that was also participated in by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The Global Compact, which is set for adoption during the Intergovernmental Conference to be held in Morocco in December, seeks to secure the cooperation of the international community in effectively addressing issues related to migration.
The Secretary said the hosting by the Philippines last month of the Manila Conference on the Global Compact for Migration underscores the importance the country places on its effective implementation.
“The Philippines reaffirms its strong commitment not just to defend and implement the Global Compact, but to promote its implementation by other states,” he said.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano delivers his intervention during the high-level meeting on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration held Wednesday, 26 September, at the sides of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. (RTVM Photo)

The Secretary also cited the importance of innovative partnerships, such as the ongoing cooperation between the Philippines and Bahrain.
“With the Global Compact as basis, and even in the absence of a bilateral labor agreement or a regional cooperation framework, we are working together on a standard employment contract that would ensure decent work and substantially reduced recruitment cost for hiring Filipino domestic workers in Bahrain,” the Secretary said.
He said Manila and Manama are also working together to provide regular pathways to over a thousand Filipino migrant workers through Bahrain’s flexi visa system. 

“This Philippines-Bahrain cooperation is the best example that the Global Compact is a framework that works on the ground despite its non-legally binding nature,” Secretary Cayetano pointed out.
In the statement he read during the meeting, Secretary General Guterres likewise urged member-states to commit themselves to the Global Compact.
"I urge governments, businesses, civil society, but also local and regional authorities to come to the table ready to make commitments that will maximize the benefits of well-managed migration, and reduce the negative impact of ill-advised policies and a lack of cooperation," he said.
The side event was organized by the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration Louis Arbour and co-sponsored by the Philippines, Morocco, Mexico, Bahrain, Canada, Rwanda, Turkey, and Brazil.
Among those who delivered statements other than the the representatives of the sponsoring countries were the President of the Swiss Confederation and the Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Finland, Tuvalu, Tunisia, and Indonesia.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Filipino Veterans of World War II Honored in New York with Congressional Gold Medal Award Ceremony

Consul General Claro S. Cristobal (2nd row standing, 3rd L-R) and US Army Major General (Ret.) Antonio Taguba (2nd row standing, 4th L-R) with Capt. Pablo Barros (seated 2nd L-R), surviving World War II veteran, and family members of other veterans who received the Congressional Gold Medal Award on 8 September 2018 at the Philippine Center in New York. Lambert Parong for PCGNY

NEW YORK - Fifteen (15) Filipino World War II veterans were honored in a ceremony organized by the Philippine Consulate General headed by Consul General Claro S. Cristobal and the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) led by US Army Major General (Ret.) Antonio Taguba, held at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center on 8 September 2018.

Capt. Pablo Barros. Lambert Parong for PCGNY

Capt. Pablo Barros, surviving WW II veteran, and the family of 14 other veterans received a US Mint replica of the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) awarded by the US Congress to Filipino veterans of WW II, as well as a copy of Public Law 114-265 otherwise known as the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015.

In his remarks, Consul General Cristobal expressed his most profound gratitude to the Filipino Veterans of World War II for the extreme sacrifices and bravery they unselfishly showed to protect freedom and democracy.

Consul General Claro S. Cristobal. Lambert Parong for PCGNY
He said, "We and the generations of Filipinos to come owe you our thanks and respect. Because of you, we are able to enjoy the fruits of progress, freedom and democracy." He likewise thanked the family members of veterans who have passed or unable to attend the ceremony. "Rest assured that their services to our country and people will never be forgotten," Consul General Cristobal said.

The Consul General acknowledged the efforts of Maj. Gen. Taguba, the FilVetREP, and all those who lobbied and supported the passage of the bill in the US Senate and House o Representatives, particularly those in the US Northeast. The law brought into fruition the efforts of various groups in the Filipino American Community and the Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the US led by the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC.

Maj. Gen. Taguba said that FilVetREP has conducted 44 awarding ceremonies across the US since October 2017 when the lone Congressional Gold Medal was presented and collectively awarded by the US Congress. He said that the group is now developing an education program that will educate the public on the historic importance of the contributions of Filipino veterans of World War II.

Capt. Pablo Barros with US Army Major General (Ret.) Antonio Taguba. Lambert Parong for PCGNY  

The following veterans were the recipients of the CGM:
  1. Major Jose Falco
  2. Capt. Pablo Barros
  3. Abelardo Perucho Andal
  4. Santiago Hipolito
  5. Filemon T. Magracia
  6. Andres S. Friginal
  7. Moises M. Santos
  8. Romeo Guitterez
  9. Leopoldo T. Osano
  10. Mario J. Valdeavella 
  11. Fidel A. Ansay
  12. Jaime B. Aban
  13. Avelino Tanjutco 
  14. Jacobo Tanjutco 
  15. Ramon Pelaez Sobrepeña
US Mint replica of the Congressional Gold Medal. Lambert Parong for PCGNY

Filipino World War II veterans or members of their family who have not received the award may get in touch with FilVetREP at

IN PHOTOS: San Lorenzo Ruiz Feast Day Mass in New York

San Lorenzo Ruiz Feast Day Mass organized by the 'First Filipino Martyr Saint, Inc.' at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Reverend Father Jomar Legaspi was the Main Celebrant. September 23, 2018. New York.

Photos by Lambert Parong © Kababayan Media 2018


US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis welcomes Philippine Secretary for National Defense Delfin Lorenzana at the Pentagon with a full honor cordon prior to their bilateral meeting on 18 September 2018. Philippine Embassy Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana reiterated the Philippines’ commitment to the Philippines-US alliance during his first official visit in the US capital as defense secretary on 18-20 September 2018.
On 18 September, Secretary Lorenzana was hosted by US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis with a full honor cordon at the US Department of Defense, followed by a bilateral meeting between their respective delegations. The two defense officials last met on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in June 2018.
“Most in our defense establishments agree that the Philippines-US alliance remains robust based on an enduring history of close engagement and our unwavering commitment to work together on shared values,” Secretary Lorenzana told his US counterpart during the meeting at the Pentagon.
The meeting’s wide-ranging discussion tackled bilateral cooperation on counterterrorism, maritime security and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as the defense modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Secretary Mattis expressed solidarity with the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) and pledged readiness to extend assistance if necessary. He also commended the courage and sacrifice of Filipino troops in liberating Marawi.
“Once again, the United States was proud to support you and we will always be proud to stand with the Filipino people to support our shared vision of a safe, secure, prosperous, and free Indo Pacific region,” Secretary Mattis said.

Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discuss PH-US bilateral cooperation in Washington DC on 19 September 2018. Philippine Embassy Photo

On 19 September, Secretary Lorenzana met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and both officials reaffirmed their mutual commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951. Their conversation also touched on the denuclearization of North Korea and the situation in the South China Sea. Secretary Pompeo expressed condolences for the devastation caused by Typhoon Ompong and offered US assistance in extending disaster relief. Secretary Pompeo also committed to support the Philippines’ defense modernization efforts.
While in Washington, Secretary Lorenzana also engaged with Republican Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Dan Sullivan of Alaska in separate meetings. The Secretary exchanged sympathies with the legislators for the victims of Hurricane Florence in the United States and Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines. Senator Gardner, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, and Senator Sullivan, a prominent member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, both highlighted the importance of the Philippines-US alliance in maintaining regional peace and stability in the Indo Pacific.
Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and his delegation met with the Washington policy and think-tank community at a roundtable discussion held at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on 20 September 2018. Philippine Embassy Photo

Secretary Lorenzana was also able to meet with members of  Washington’s business and think tank communities at round table-lunch meetings hosted by the US-Philippines Society and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez accompanied the Secretary in the latter’s engagements.
“Secretary Lorenzana assured US leaders that while the Philippines has revitalized other defense partnerships and is exploring new ones with non-traditional partners in line with its independent foreign policy, this does not, in any way affect the longstanding alliance between the Philippines and the United States,” said Ambassador Romualdez.
(L-R) COL. Marlo Guloy, Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché, Philippine Embassy; Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick Chuasoto, Philippine Embassy; Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez; and Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana during the meeting with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on 18 September 2018 in Washington, D.C. Philippine Embassy Photo

“He was also able to clearly communicate the priorities of the Duterte Administration. The Department of Foreign Affairs under the leadership of Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and the Philippine Embassy will be certain to build on this visit’s positive results,” Ambassador Romualdez added.
The other members of the Philippine delegation include DND Assistant Secretary for Assessment and International Affairs (ASAIA) Teodoro Cirilo Torralba II; Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick Chuasoto, Philippine Embassy; COL. Marlo Guloy, Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attaché, Philippine Embassy; BGEN Pablo Lorenzo; Ms. Faysaleyyah Abdullah, Senior Defense Research Officer, ASAIA; MAJ. Geralfredo Andal (PA); and CDR Jason Manaligod (PN).

Monday, September 17, 2018

Breaking Glass Pictures presents 'Call Her Ganda' A Film by PJ RAVAL Opens September 21 in New York at the Maysles Cinema

(Jennifer's most recent photo sits on her mother's desk as a memory in a scene from the film CALL HER GANDA - a film by PJ Raval. Photo Courtesy of Unravel Pictures)

New York - CALL HER GANDA follows the now infamous brutal murder case of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude by a U.S. Marine, and the infuriating pursuit of justice by three women intimately invested in the case. An activist attorney (Virgie Suarez), a transgender journalist (Meredith Talusan) and Jennifer’s mother (Julita "Nanay" Laude) galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice for Jennifer and taking on hardened continuing history of U.S. imperialism in the Philippines.

When 26-year old Filipina transgender woman and alleged sex worker, Jennifer Laude, is found dead with her head plunged into a motel room toilet, the perpetrator is quickly identified as 19-year-old U.S. marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. A military recruit in an unfamiliar land, Pemberton was on “liberty leave” when he solicited Jennifer at a disco. On discovering that Jennifer was transgender, he brutally murdered her, leaving her to be found by her friend and the motel receptionist.

Amidst a media storm and police inquiry, as Jennifer’s family copes with their loss, three women intimately invested in the case, pursue justice—taking on hardened histories of U.S. imperial rule that have allowed previous American perpetrators to evade consequence: An activist attorney, Virgie Suarez, who labors to reveal the truth of Jennifer’s death from inside the courtroom, despite strategic silences and sly legal maneuvers from Pemberton’s defense team. A transgender investigative journalist, Meredith Talusan, who is determined to bring international attention to the case, writing sharp, in-the-fray essays for VICE, The Guardian and Buzzfeed. And Jennifer’s normally reserved mother, Julita, who finds herself at the effective center of a political uprising, inciting fellow protesters with a tenacious voice she never knew existed.

These three women from different backgrounds from an amazingly powerful bond to galvanize a political uprising, while seeking justice for Jennifer and taking on the hardened continuing history of U.S. imperialism in the Philippines. 

For openly gay Filipino American filmmaker PJ Raval, CALL HER GANDA is one of his most personal film projects.

Tribeca Film Festival; Hot Docs; Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival; Frameline SF; Outfest LA; DMZ Docs – Korea; Doc Edge – New Zealand; Inside Out Toronto LGBTQ Film Festival and more.

Advisory from the Philippine Consulate General in New York

Statement of Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, during the Security Council Open Debate dedicated to the Mediation and Settlement of Disputes.

New York - Archbishop Auza praised the role of patient dialogue and negotiation as a tool for the settlement of disputes and called for such mediation to be fair and impartial. He noted the role of the Holy See in helping to settle the 1978 dispute between Argentina and Chile, which has contributed to long-term peace between the countries. He also emphasized the importance of leaders and negotiators working alongside the local communities most impacted by disputes to reach solutions that lead to lasting peace. "Conflicts leave very deep wounds," he said, "and an inclusive, participatory process of mediation and resolution of disputes is essential to the process of healing and reconciliation that continue long after the ink is dry."

Archbishop Bernardito Auza's remarks can be found here.

Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral Opens in New York City & New Jersey - September 21

Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral Opens in New York City & New Jersey - September 21

AMC Loews Kips Bay 15
570 2nd Avenue (between 31st and 32nd Streets)
New York, NY 10016

AMC Loews Jersey Gardens 20
651 Kapkowski Road
Elizabeth, NJ 07201

A film directed by Jerrold Tarog
Written by Rody Vera and Jerrold Tarog
Executive Producers: Fernando Ortigas/ Eduardo Rocha/ Paulo Avelino

TBA Studios is proud to present the US theatrical release of GOYO: The Boy General (Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral), a film written and directed by Jerrold Tarog. Following its current, successful release in its native Philippines, GOYO will open theatrically in New York on September 21, with Los Angeles and other key US cities to follow.

GOYO: The Boy General is a historical biopic that focuses on the last months in the life of Gregorio del Pilar (Paulo Avelino), one of the youngest generals of the Philippine Revolution (against Spain) and the Philippine-American War. He was the most trusted ally of Emilio Aguinaldo, the Philippine President and Commander-in-Chief during the Revolution and War. GOYO is the next installment, following the surprise 2015 blockbuster hit HENERAL LUNA, a film that chronicled Revolutionary General Antonio Luna’s life (and which also had a US theatrical release in October 2015).

After five months of relative peace, the U.S. Army begins its final push to crush the Philippine army and capture Aguinaldo. Goyo faces the biggest challenge of his life as he oversees the large caravan of officers, soldiers and civilians making their perilous escape through the mountains of the Northern regions.

The hovering presence of death and failure throughout the journey ultimately calls into question Goyo’s accomplishments and public popularity. The boy general is forced to grow up and ask the only question that matters during times of war: What does it really mean to be a hero?

Director’s Statement - Jarrold Tarog:

For many, Gregorio del Pilar was a true hero of the revolution, but for some, he was nothing more than an arrogant henchman of Revolutionary President Emilio Aguinaldo. Yet his willingness to give up his life reveals a level of determination and perhaps humility that cannot be easily dismissed. For someone so young and popular to face death head on, Goyo, as del Pilar is known to his friends, deserves to be examined using both a wider and a more intimate lens.

As the second part in the envisioned historical trilogy that began with HENERAL LUNA (2015), GOYO: ANG BATANG HENERAL continues an attempt to examine our faults as a people by using the past as a reflection of the present. With multiple points of view and the same characteristic freedom to move between historical fact and fiction as in HENERAL LUNA, GOYO expounds on themes of maturity and responsibility, contrasts the naivete of youth with sobriety of adulthood, and attempts to ask questions about our readiness for a task of nation building. How does one attain honor when facing certain death? What should a man like Goyo hold close to his heart when forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?

150 min Not Rated In Tagalog with English subtitles 2018