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KASAMA March 2007
Volume 21 Number 1

Hong Kong Domestic Workers Rally The Significance of International Women’s Day to Filipino Women Migrant Workers

by Edna Aquino

On 25 March 1911, a tragedy that later became known as the Triangle Factory Fire Scandal in New York City took the lives of 146 women garment workers. Most of them were Italian and Eastern European immigrants, some as young as 12 and 13 years-old. This disaster exposed the life-threatening working conditions of immigrant women workers in New York sweatshops at that time. It eventually led to a significant change in American labour legislation and is commemorated on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD).


APL PrimerWomen’s Day marchers denounce police brutality on women’s rally!

MANILA - International Women’s Day - Mar 8, 2007

The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) denounces the attempt of the police to brutally disperse the rally of APL-women commemorating International Women’s Day.


Pinoy TVPINOY TV for the Filipino Australian Community

Melba Marginson writes...

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Filipino-Australian community,
I have been involved with Pinoy TV for a few years now, on and off as a commentator. This year I will be regularly involved as a panel member of a segment tackling issues raised by our viewers. Together with Al Noveloso, the anchorperson and Sonny Castillo, previously an SBS newscaster, we will be reading emails and letters from our viewers and comment or provide solutions to the issues and problems they raise. Beginning March this year, we will be on Pinoy TV programs for 10 minutes under this panel segment which is as yet to be titled.

Philip AlstonExtrajudicial killings have a corrosive effect on civil society and political discourse…

by Philip Alston

Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions arrived in the Philippines on Monday, February 12th for a ten-day official visit. His purpose is to submit to the U.N. Human Rights Council a report analysing the compliance by the Philippines with international law in the area of the right to life and making recommendations to more effectively prevent violations. On the final day of his visit he issued the following press statement.


Justice for the Brutal Killing of Albert B Ramento On the Brutal Killing of the Most Reverend Alberto B. Ramento, the Ninth IFI Obispo Maximo

A Statement of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente

The good bishop was slain by faceless assassins who broke into the rectory at around 4 am in the morning of October 3, 2006 in the Parish of San Sebastian, Tarlac City. He was sleeping when the assassins entered his room and stabbed him seven times. We denounce in the strongest possible terms this barbaric and dastardly act against a man of the cloth within the premises of his own church.


Dialogue Among FaithsDialogue Among Faiths and Civilizations in the Asia-Pacific Region: Hopeful Signs, Urgent Challenges

On December 18, 2006 a panel of faith leaders and educators from diverse traditions shared their stories on how the dialogue among faiths and civilizations is helping to build peace and harmony in the Asia-Pacific region. The Forum was organised by the members of the Advisory Committee of the Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University, The following is a transcript of Dr. Rachel Kohn’s conversation with Archbishop Fernando Capalla from Davao, Mindanao in southern Philippines.

Merlinda Bobis Sharing our Stories Around the Dining Table: Aboriginal and Filipino Women

This Filipino Women’s Working Party project funded by the City of Sydney Local Community Grants Program brought together two diverse groups of women - Aboriginal and Filipino - to share their stories and enhance their understanding of each other’s culture. The workshops were recorded on film and the experience was shared with an invited audience at Customs House in Sydney on 23 March 2007. The Project Manager Deborah Ruiz Wall sent in this report.


PPT Logo Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal - Second Session on the Philippines
The Hague, the Netherlands - March 21-25, 2007

Indicting the US-Backed Arroyo Regime for Human Rights Violations, Economic Plunder and Transgression of the Filipino People’s Sovereignty

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is an international opinion tribunal, independent from any State authority. It examines and judges complaints regarding violations of human rights and rights of peoples that are submitted by the victims themselves or groups representing them. The Tribunal was founded in June 1979 in Italy by law experts, writers and other intellectuals. It succeeded the ‘Russell Tribunals’ –the International War Crimes Tribunal – which held two sessions in 1967 to expose the war crimes committed against the Vietnamese people. In 1980, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal convened a Session on the Philippines to hear the case against the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, at the suit of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). It was the first international juridical body to condemn the US sponsored Marcos dictatorship. In recognition of the urgency of the appeal of the Initiating Group of Philippine organizations, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal decided to convene the Second Session on the Philippines.


Vote Philippines: Crucial Mid-Term Elections in May

by Lorraine Salazar in Asian Analysis

This year, the defining political event to watch in the Philippines is the May 14th national elections, as half of the 24 Senate seats, all 250 seats in the Lower House, and over 17,000 local government positions are up for grabs. In essence, this means that the polls could potentially alter the balance of power in the government, depending on what type of legislators and local government officials are elected. The Opposition is painting the exercise as a referendum on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s legitimacy, given the allegations of cheating in the 2004 elections. On its part, the Arroyo Administration is confident of retaining its control of Congress, as well as achieving the election of supportive government officials - which it deems key for the continuation of its social and economic reform programs.


Nathan Gilbert QuimpoTrapo Parties and Corruption

by Nathan Gilbert Quimpo

The Philippines, it is often said, has wishy-washy political parties and a weak political party system. The country’s main parties are too personality–oriented, and not program–oriented. In fact, they are indistinguishable from one another in their political beliefs and programs. They have weak membership bases and operate only during election time. Political turncoatism is a venerable tradition, as Felipe Miranda puts it. Post-Marcos parties, in particular, are said to reflect the undeveloped or malformed character of the Philippine political party system. Far from being stable, programmatic organizations, they have proven to be nebulous entities that can be set up, merged with others, split, resurrected, regurgitated, reconstituted, renamed, repackaged, recycled or flushed down the toilet anytime. Just as a butterfly-politician flits from one party to another, the party flits from one “coalition” to the next. Most politicians have come to be derogatorily called trapo, which is short for “traditional politician” but ordinarily means “dirty old rag.”


ISIS GraphicUpcoming Events

Living the Information Society

The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on People, Work and Communities in Asia
23 & 24 April 2007 at the Renaissance Hotel, Makati City, Manila, Philippines

Women of Ideas: Feminist Thinking for a New Era

International Feminist Summit
17 to 20 July 2007 at the Southbank Convention Centre, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Living under Civil Laws and Religious Laws in Australia: Conflict or Harmony?

Tuesday, 1st May 2007, 9am to 5pm at the Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia