Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser update: New venue for garage sale

Typhoon Haiyan Fundraiser update: New venue for garage sale

Kindly share with friends, new venue for our 23rd November garage sale: St Joseph Parish Hall, 10 Taharoto Rd, Takapuna, North Shore. Donate, volunteer, let’s ensure the relief goods reach the victims through Sagip Migrante!

Auckland Fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan victims : Garage sale, yummy food and live music

Fundraiser: Garage sale, yummy food and live music for Typhoon Haiyan victims

Auckland’s Philippine community are having a garage sale on November 23 from 8am-1pm to raise money for the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort. There will also be yummy Filipino food for sale and live music on the day. If you have any old stuff that you want to get rid of (but is still in good enough condition someone might want to buy it) any donations for the garage sale will be gratefully received at any of the collection points mentioned on the poster.

From New Zealand – Paper Cranes for Continuing Appeals to Aquino: SURFACE DESAPARECIDOS, FREE POLITICAL PRISONERS

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Ninoy Aquino Day will again be observed on August 21, commemorating
the anniversary of the 1983 assassination of former Senator Benigno
“Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

On this occasion, the Philippines solidarity network together with
faith-based justice and peace advocates in New Zealand reiterate
appeal for Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to grant presidential
amnesty to all political prisoners.

“Since Aquino came to power in 2010, we have joined the international
community in challenging him to honour his father by heeding the
appeals to stop the extra-judicial killings, free political prisoners
and surface victims of involuntary disappearances,” Murray Horton,
Secretary of Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA) stated.

Last July, NZ-based Korean Pastor Kyoung Gyun Han represented the
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand at the International
Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP).

“It was a big conference of over 200 people from around the globe. It
is such an honour to be part of a global network including churches
actively supporting the Filipino people’s quest for justice and peace.
Coming back to New Zealand, I am committed to watch out Philippine
situation, engage in solidarity action and strengthen migrants’
ministry particularly in Auckland,” Rev. Han, who is the PCANZ Asian
Ministries Coordinator, noted.

The ICHRPP deplored the fact that far from his 2010 election promise
to deliver justice for human rights victims of past regimes, Aquino’s
3-year administration now holds a record of 142 extra-judicial
killings, 540 illegal arrests, 76 cases of torture, 30, 678 forced
evacuations, 31,417 cases of threats/harassment/intimidation, and
27,029 cases of use of schools, medical, religious and other public
places, on top the thousands more victims of past regimes
who have yet to see justice for themselves and their families.

This week, Rev. Han met with members of Auckland Philippines
Solidarity (APS) and representatives of the Presbyterian Church of
Aotearoa New Zealand and The Methodist Church about action plans to
support justice and peace quest in the Philippines. In solidarity with
victims’ families, they made paper cranes (Japanese origami) in
support of the campaign to Surface James Balao and all victims of
enforced disappearances.

Based on the ancient Japanese legend that anyone who folds a thousand
origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, APS started making
paper cranes to express support for all the families awaiting the
return of their loved ones who have been abducted by state agents.

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Dole Bananas and military harassment of unions in the Philippines

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 Photo: a member of the Anakpawis Partylist, the electoral wing of the KMU trade union, protests against Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) acting like the private army of big companies.  

In late May Oxfam New Zealand released a well researched report about labour conditions in the banana plantations of Mindanao, southern Philippines, that supply the huge multinational fruit importer Dole. It received a large amount of media attention and even prompted Dole to drop their ‘Ethical Choice’ label from bananas.  

The report documented a number of serious abuses of workers’ rights in the plantations that supply the large fruit importing company Dole, including the use of child labour, workers being paid below the local minimum wage and planes spraying noxious pesticides overhead as workers toiled in the fields.

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The Oxfam report provides alarming details of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) intimidating workers who wanted to join a union. 

One worker described being held at gunpoint by soldiers and told to leave the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1st Movement) union. 

Others reported that during an industrial dispute soldiers visited the homes of union members and threatened their families that the workers should leave the union and accept the company’s contract that offered poorer pay and working conditions than the one the union could negotiate.

Auckland Philippines Solidarity has long been a supporter of the Kilusang Mayo Uno union and its campaigns for decent wages and against harassment by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  We welcome Oxfam report and its recommendations for an end to abuses against workers in the banana plantations of Mindanao.  

The Oxfam report ‘The Labour and Environmental Situation in Philippine Banana Plantations Exporting to New Zealand’ can be read in its entirety on the Oxfam website.   

Petition for Melissa Roxas

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Melissa Roxas is a Philippine born American who has had a long involvement in community health projects in the United States.  In 2009 she was taking part in a medical health mission in Tarlac, Philippines and was abducted and tortured by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, after being accused of being a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.  While held in captivity she was tortured and subject to other inhuman treatment.  

Bayan-USA has started a petition calling for President Aquino to ensure the recent Philippine Supreme Court resolution, which stated the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines must do everything in their power to bring those responsible for Roxas’ kidnap to justice, is implemented. 

The petition has been signed by people across the World.  Add your name at http://www.change.org/petitions/president-aquino-investigate-the-abduction-and-torture-of-melissa-roxas

APS May update: Peace talks suspended and disappearances continue

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Alex Padilla, the government of the Philippines peace panel chair, has unilaterally declared a suspension to peace talks with National Democratic Front of the Philippines via a statement to the Philippine media.  The Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA) released a statement calling for a resumption of peace talks which was picked up in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.  Murray Horton of PSNA wrote:

President Aquino has three more years to disprove the growing criticisms about his administration’s human rights record and its sincerity in the peace process. If he fails to deliver on his promises to bring about better lives for the poor,

A number of people’s organisations in the Philippines, including human rights group Karapatan, have argued the suspension of peace talks will see an increase in human rights abuses not just against members of the underground New People’s Army but also the legal above ground left.  

Unfortunately Karapatan’s predictions may have been proved right when  Estelita “Nanay Neneng” T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant rights advocate, went missing.  She was later surfaced to a prison.  Auckland Philippines Solidarity released a statement calling for her to be released and an end of enforced disappearances of political activists:

We have just heard that Estelita “Nanay Neneng” T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant rights advocate, went missing for 10 days. Though she was eventually surfaced by the military, it is deplorable that she now faces trumped-up charges – the same fate suffered by over 300 political prisoners in the Philippines. With the termination of GPH-NDFP peace talks, we fear the Aquino government will further ignore the calls to stop the abductions, killings and filing of trumped-up criminal charges against political activists,” Cameron Walker, spokesperson of Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS).

 

Support for Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) victims

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On December 4th Typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha) hit the Philippines and brought havoc to Mindanao and the Visayas.  The official death toll is 1062 with 800 people still missing.  Crops, homes and lives were destroyed.  Auckland Philippines Solidarity member, Cameron Walker was in Compostela Valley, one of the worst effected regions, when the typhoon hit.  He was interviewed by Radio New Zealand and Minda News in the Philippines about his experiences.

Migrante Aotearoa NZ, the organisation of Filipino migrants, have started an appeal to support the victims of Typhoon Pablo.  They raised $460 at their Christmas party.  The funds will go to BALSA Mindanao, the People’s Mobilisation for Disaster Relief and Climate Justice – an organisation that has been at the forefront of relief operations.  If you can even spare a few dollars it would be much appreciated.

Donations can be sent to Migrante Aotearoa’s ASB account. Account name: Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand Incorporated; Account Number: 12-3136-0276480-00. Please email secretariat@migrante-aotearoa.org.nz to notify re donation.

Photos Cameron Walker.

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