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    N.Y. rally bids GMA goodbye Rita Villadiego, Jul 27, 2005 NEW YORK – Filipino novelist Ninotchka Rosca, who won the American Book award in the 1993, wore a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2005
      N.Y. rally bids GMA 'goodbye'
      Rita Villadiego, Jul 27, 2005

      NEW YORK – Filipino novelist Ninotchka Rosca, who won
      the American Book award in the 1993, wore a party hat,
      gave purple balloons and chocolate cakes to rally
      supporters as they sang "Bye Bye Ms. American Pie," in
      a street party.

      Unlike other protest rallies, this one held Monday in
      front of the Philippine Consulate on Fifth Avenue, had
      no fiery explosion of emotions, only cheerful songs
      meant to send a message to President Gloria Macapagal
      Arroyo to step down.

      "We want to express our joy at her departure," said
      Rosca, founding officer of Gabriela Women’s
      International organization as protesters sang "Take
      her out of the office," to the tune of "Take me out to
      the Ballgame."

      "Finding her tongue just long enough to be taped
      discussing fixing one million votes. It is given that
      cheating occurs in every election, even in the U.S.,
      but no one has been caught, till now, with his/her
      hand in the ballot box as it were," said Rosca. She is
      referring to the wiretapped conversation between
      Arroyo and an election official, currently the subject
      of an investigation by the Philippine Congress. In the
      tape, Arroyo was heard to have asked Virgilio
      Garcillano if her one million lead over rival Fernando
      Poe was assured.

      In a display of mock-glee, some 50 protesters toasted
      drinks, drank water in champagne glasses, blew paper
      trumpets and sang to the tune of "Sound of Music,"
      with these words:" So long, farewell, goodbye, You’re
      a big cheat...the masses have spoken , so leave with
      no delay."

      Dorothea Mendoza, secretary general of Gabriela
      Network, distributed party hats as she led the noisy
      and ebullient street party.

      "The Arroyo regime has been plagued not only with
      allegations of fraud but extreme graft and corruption.
      The price of basic commodities such as food and
      utilities has continued to increase. Ms. Arroyo has
      not delivered on her promise to raise the minimum wage
      but rather forced upon the people the value added tax
      (VAT), tripling the tax burden of the Filipino people.
      Health care and social services for women and children
      are virtually non-existent....because of poverty,
      there are more than 800,000 prostituted women and
      children in the Philippines," Mendoza said.

      Mendoza said a third of Filipino families go without
      dinner every night and half of all children in the
      country are born without access to medical care,
      whether pre-natal, birthing or pediatric.

      She called on the creation of a transition council
      that would include farmers, workers and various
      sectors of society to replace the government of

      Onlookers, amused at the spectacle, weighed in on the

      "Ms. Arroyo is a very smart woman. She wants to change
      the government. If the charges of cheating in election
      are true, then let the Filipinos decide her fate,"
      said Mila Valdez, a physician in New York.

      New York-based book author Alberto Florentino said
      "Ms. Arroyo has no right to be in Malacanang if,
      indeed, she cheated the institution that symbolizes
      democracy. It’s unforgivable.”

      Visit my web page at http://daga.dhs.org/max

      People tend to think of nonviolence as a choice between using force and doing nothing. But the real choice takes place at another level. Nonviolence is less a matter of "not killing" and more a matter of showing compassion, of saving and redeeming, of being a healing community. One can only choose between doing good to the person placed in one's path, or to do him evil. To do good is to love a person; but not to do that is as good as killing him. To love someone is to restore that person physically, socially, and spiritually. To neglect and postpone this restoration is already to kill. Andre Trocme

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