Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance(APALA) Endorses GMA (Gloria
After hearing the moving story of Edith Burgos, the mother of abducted land reform and farmers' advocate Jonas Burgos, the National Executive Board of the Asian-Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) unanimously voted to endorse GMA Watch, a US based Philippine human rights monitoring network. Mrs. Burgos spoke to APALA as part of a seven city US speaking tour organized by GMA Watch, which raised awareness about the 890 politically motivated extrajudicial killings and more than 300 disappearances which have been committed presumably by the Philippine military under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
"We condemn the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the abductions, disapearances and killings of activists, opposition journalists and union leaders and labor organizers in the Philippines. Americans should unite with the Filipino people in saying, 'stop human rights violations' and 'end corruption in the Philippines,'" said Daz Lamparas, Executive Board Member of APALA and member of the San Francisco Chapter.
Just days after APALA passed their resolution to endorse GMA Watch, Gerry Cristobal, a union leader in the Philippines, was killed. It was the third attempt on his life. In the same week the US State Department released their country report on the Philippines and expressed concern over the continued killings and other human rights violations in which Philippine security forces are implicated.
"This endorsement comes at an important time. Congress is starting the process of creating next year's funding bill. APALA's membership and reach represents thousands more that can demand that our tax dollars not go to shed innocent blood in the Philippines," said Katrina Abarcar, national coordinator of GMA Watch.
APALA has around 5000 members. In its resolution, APALA stated it would urge its chapters as well as the AFL-CIO and CTW (Change to Win), which together represent over 15 million workers, to pass similar resolutions to endorse and support GMA Watch. ###