May 11, 2007
Donna Denina, Chair, Pinay Sa Seattle & BAYAN USA Women's Committee Representative
Joanna Robledo-Maderazo, Education Development Officer, babae - San Francisco & BAYAN USA Women's Committee Representative
Valerie Francisco, Chair, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FIRE) NYC
TEXTBACK: Fil-Am Women Launch National Text Brigade Initiative For Philippine Elections
A Mother's Day Gift for Women of the Philippines- Gabriela Womens Partylist
On this Mother's Day, Filipino Americans are celebrating the women in their lives by stepping up to promote better legislators in the Philippine Congress, specifically ones who will defend and promote the rights and welfare of women in the Philippines. Pinay Sa Seattle, babae - San Francisco, and Filipinas for Rights & Empowerment New York City, women's organizations of the US Chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or BAYAN USA, are targeting friends, family, and loved ones of the Filipino-American Community in the Philippines to vote for Gabriela Women's Party through a nationwide text brigade called TEXT BACK (TEXT Brigade Against Cheating and Killings), an initiative of BAYAN USA which began on May 6, 2007.
Whether she is an aunt, cousin, sister, sister-in-law, daughter, grandmother, or mother, the majority of Filipino Americans have a woman relative affected by the policies of the Philippine government. The Gabriela Women's Party, has been the sole voice of Filipino women in the Philippine Congress since 2004. Gabriela Women's Party, represented by Liza Maza, has brought the issues and plight of Filipino women to national and international attention. This election season, Gabriela Women's Party aims to win three seats in the Philippine Congress to increase the representation of progressive women, as well as to further push the issues and concerns of the majority of Filipino women within the the Philippine Congress.
"With over 750,000 women exported from the Philippines to over 203 countries in 2005 alone, and 30% of those women being trafficked into the sex trade, it is imperative that we have a Gabriela Women's Party list to ensure that women's voices in the Philippines be heard in Congress and the issues which make these women susceptible to the sex trade be addressed." states Donna Denina, BAYAN USA Women's Committee Representative.
Denina also relayed the importance of recognizing and supporting all progressive partylists such as Kabataan Party, Suara Bangsamoro, Anakpawis, and Bayan Muna. "The unabated killings and disappearances of activists in the Philippines continue and it's imperative that progressive Filipinos have the avenue to voice their opposition and demand government accountability of these killings in Congress.
Beginning Saturday, May 12th 5pm PT/8pm ET in the United States, nationally-coordinated text messages will be sent from texters in New York, San Franciso, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Honolulu and other US cities to various Philippine cities including Manila, Baguio, Davao, and Cebu City. The texts will reach the Philippines on their Mother's Day.
Text messages will be sent in Tagalog, Visayan, Ilocano, and English. Messages will include catch-phrases such as: Itong araw ng mga nanay, Ipakita ang mahal na tunay, Pandaraya, labanan, Para sa isang bayan na Malaya, Political killings tutulan, Para sa kabutihan ng taong-bayan, Iboto Gabriela Women's Party (On this mother's day, Show love that is true, fight against fraud, for a nation that is free, Stop political killings, for the goodness of our people, Vote Gabriela Women's Party) and signed TEXTBACK USA.
The action aims to encourage Filipinos in the US and in other global regions to forward text messages to their respective loved ones back in the Philippines .
BAYAN USA and its member women's organizations: Pinay sa Seattle, babae - San Francisco, and FIRE - New York, hope these texts will spread like wildfire to deliver the most valuable Mother's Day Gift of all - justice for Filipino women. ###
PLEASE FORWARD THE FOLLOWING MOTHER'S DAY GREETING:
Please take a minute to send the following message to your relatives
and friends in the Philippines this Mother's Day.
Send them via text message, e-mail, Yahoo messenger, Gmail chat or
any other form. Post them to various listserves, websites, discussion
groups. Send them as testimonies on Friendster or messages on Myspace.
Any which way, just spread them as far and wide as possible:
ITONG ARAW NG MGA NANAY
IPAKITA ANG MAHAL NA TUNAY
PARA SA ISANG BAYAN NA MALAYA
POLITICAL KILLINGS TUTULAN
PARA SA KABUTIHAN NG TAONG-BAYAN
IBOTO GABRIELA WOMEN'S PARTY
FROM TEXT BACK USA
On this Mother's Day
Show love that is true
Fight against fraud
For a nation that is free
Stop political killings
For the goodness of our people
VOTE GABRIELA WOMEN'S PARTY!
From TEXT B.A.C.K. USA
TEXT BACK (Brigade Against Cheating & Killings) - USA
"Our votes may not count, but our voices will be heard:
No to cheating! Stop Political Killings!
Vote for Progressive Party Lists!"
For more information about the TEXT BACK Campaign contact:
Joanna Robledo-Maderazo, babae - San Francisco, E: firstname.lastname@example.org, P: 415-637-4129
Valerie Francisco, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FIRE) New York, E: email@example.com, P: 925-726-5768
Donna Denina, Pinay Sa Seattle, E: firstname.lastname@example.org , P: 206-300-0927
Saturday, May 12, 2007