Finally the people of the Philippines are protesting something that makes sense, but like many things in the Philippines – this protest is a year in the making.
Filipino activist groups inside and outside of the Philippines are gearing up for a protest of mega-proportions, over what they claim is gross neglect by their own government.
This week marks the one year anniversary since super typhoon Yolanda came ashore in Tocloban, devastating large portions of the Philippines, taking with it nearly 10,000 victims.
That fateful night on November 7-8 the landscapes and shores of entire regions throughout the Philippines were devastated beyond recognition – leaving behind a city of tents – broken dreams, broken lives and broken families.
“Thousands are expected to join the protest actions on November 7 and 8, one year after Yolanda – Haiyan, and one year after the Aquino government’s gross criminal neglect of the victims of the storm,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said in a statement.
“More than remembering those who perished in the storm, we are called upon to join the survivors’ fight for pro-people rehabilitation and reconstruction,” he said.
Today after a year of struggles and other humanitarian issues, the Philippines has once again failed the very people who were effected – the ‘upper echelon” sit in their high rises and high society life and look down on their own countrymen, seamlessly no cares in the world.
Tocloban is the main site of protest, and rightfully so. A mass of tents and make-do shacks line the coasts – all the while billions of peso lay squandered and funneled into the very cracks that seem to laugh, if not spit in the faces of those who are affected most.
“The victims are justified in condemning corruption and inefficiency in the conduct of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work since the storm hit,” Reyes Jr. said.
Additional protests will appear in provinces such as Capiz, northern Iloilo, Aklan and more – many of the same places which were severely affected by Yolanda.
Protests are also being coordinated in Filipino communities in the United States and Canada as well as Europe and Hong Kong.
A conference of victims of calamities in recent years throughout the Philippines is being held on November 7 – The conference includes not only those from Yolanda, but also from other powerful storms like Pablo and Sendong. The event event is being staged in Tacloban City on November 6 – the even of the anniversary on that fateful night.
Those involved in the protests will be using the hashtag #RememberHaiyan for their international actions to be noted throughout the globe.
Bayan is working with ‘People Surge”, The International League of People’s Struggles, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment and Tindog Network.
Bayan has said there are many domestic and international organizations putting pressure on the Philippine government to deliver the basics needed for the people affected by Yolanda.
The people of the Philippines are simply fed-up with stories and non-action by their own government in spite of the massive amount of foreign aid which poured into the disaster stricken area.
This week President Benigno Aquino III has stepped in, only after being pressured, to speed up the process and release the billions of pesos that sit in waiting, many believe once again their own government is in fact stealing the money for their own gain.