UKPC/FCYA - Toronto

Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada / Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance - Toronto Chapter

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Progressive Philippine Congress representatives in Toronto - April 2008

Corruption, Repression and People's Resistance

Two long-time activists, now members of Philippine Congress representing women and workers' movements, are visiting Canada to call on the Canadian government to stop supporting the repressive and corrupt regime of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Under the guise of the war on terror, President Arroyo is waging a violent crackdown on people's organizations and government critics. More than 800 social activists, human rights advocates, progressive politicians, journalist, lawyers and judges have been assassinated. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, arbitrary and summary executions attributes many of the killings to the military. Massive protests demanding President Arroyo's resignation amidst allegation of corruption bring to mind the 1986 People Power movement that ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Join guests Rep. Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Partylist and Rep. Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Partylist
Wednesday, April 9 at 6:00PM
Ontario Institute For Studies in Education
252 Bloor St. West
(Above St. George Subway)
Rm# 5-260 (5th Floor)

For more information: Ramon Grajo: 416.486.8428

Co-sponsored by: Philippine Legislators Organizing Group-International Tour, Centre for Women's Studies in Education at OISE, Bayan-Canada Organizing Committee, Migrante-Ontario, Toronto-York Region Labour Council, Justice and Global Ecumenical Relations Unit of the UCC, Philippine Network for Justice and Peace, Labour Education Center, Asian Solidarity Network, KAIROS, BASICS Free Community Newspaper, Toronto Women’s Bookstore

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PULONG BAYAN (Community Meeting):
Up-close and Personal with Satur Ocampo
A chance to talk with your Congress representative

From business journalist to long-time activist and long-time political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship... Now Bayan Muna partylist president and outstanding Congressman, Rep. Satur Ocampo -- deputy minority leader and head of the Independent bloc -- is coming to Toronto to talk with kababayans on the crisis in the country of the Arroyo presidency.

No real growth in the economy, over 3,000 a day heading abroad, unbridled corruption charges against the First Family, unrest in the lower ranks of the military, mass protests... Are we nearing the end of the Arroyo presidency? What are the possible ways forward for the Philippines?

Come, hear and meet our representative. Be heard and express your concerns. There may not be another chance with the growing crisis!

Sunday, April 13 at 2:00pm
Fr. Madden Hall, Carr Hall
St. Michael's College, University of Toronto
100 St. Joseph Street
(between Bay St. and Queen's Park Cr. East,
north of Wellesley St.)

Co-sponsored by: Migrante Ontario, Bayan-Canada Organizing Committee, Santaginian Association of Ontario, Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture, Community Alliance for Social Justice, Philippine Press Club of Ontario, United Steelworkers, Filipino Students' Association of Toronto

Philippine Vignettes: A Photo Exhibition by Alex Felipe

Opening Night: 8 April @ 7:30pm.
Runs Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 7:30pm
to Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 1:30pm
Cafe Tinto
89 Roncesvalles Avenue
Toronto, Ontario

Alex Felipe is a Filipino-Canadian photographer that has just returned to Toronto after spending three months following the human rights situation in his mother country—which included a disturbing Canadian connection.

The Philippines is a country stuck in the cycle of poverty shared by many other so-called developing nations. Sixty-nine million (out of a population of ninety-one million) are living on $2/day or less.

Corruption, neo-colonial policies, and human rights abuses are the norm. According to the latest corruption survey by Berlin-based Transparency International rates the country the worst in Southeast Asia.

The current administration, led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is accused of almost 900 extrajudicial killings and almost 200 disappearances—as well as torture, illegal detention, and displacement. UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alson visited the country in 2007 and his scathing report confirms much of this.

This exhibition will present an overview of the Philippine situation. From the family members of those killed, disappeared, and those under threat; to images from inside a prison holding accused terrorists; to protest rallies; and finally to a Canadian connection to these horrors.

Canada is one of the world’s largest mining nations. Over half of the world’s mining companies (and 2/3rds of the world’s mining exploration companies) are traded on the TSX. The Philippines is incredibly rich in mineral resources, it’s ranked second in terms of geological prospectively, and second in gold production (per land unit).

Two Canadian mining sites will be shown. Placer Dome/Barrick Gold on Marinduque Island, where three different sites have become contaminated with mine waste resulting in the loss of livelihood and extremely high incidences of heavy metal poisoning in the population. And Toronto Ventures Incorporated on Mt. Canatuan, Mindanao, where militarization, loss of livelihood, forced displacement, and looming health disasters threaten an indigenous community firmly against the mine’s presence.


According to respected human rights watchdog 'Karapatan,' the GMA regime (from 1 Jan to 31 October 2007) is accused of:

Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions… 68 // 209 in 2006, [Total: 887 (since 21.1.01)]
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances… 26 // 78 in 2006, [Total: 185]
Torture… 29
Illegal Detention… 116
Forcible Evacuation or Displacement... 7542

Karapatan 2007 Human Rights Report:

UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston confirmed much of this in his 2007 report and clearly points the finger at the government. To download his final report please visit:

Mining Links:

The Association for Responsible Mining:

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Press Statement: The Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee

6 October 2007


We, in the Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee, are deeply saddened by the death of a kababayan/ compatriot, a sister and co-worker, and we offer our deepest sympathies to her family, relatives and friends.

Jocelyn came from an indigenous farming community in Ifugao province north of Manila. She worked for a year in Hong Kong as a domestic before coming to Canada. Like many other Filipino migrants, she left the Philippines to seek a better life for her family.

Imie Belanger, Jocelyn's sister-in-law, and Sol Pajadura, Migrante-Ontario Coordinator,
at a press conference and fundraiser held Saturday, October 6, 2007
at the Patricia Kemp Community Centre in Vaughan.

Jocelyn came to Canada under the Live-In Caregiver Program, a federal government program that allows Filipinas to come as caregivers. In this program, she was required to live in her employer’s residence – a condition that renders her vulnerable to all kinds of exploitation and abuse.

Yet Jocelyn did not only suffer a violent death at the hands of still unknown assailants in her employer’s mansion, she was also a casualty of the Philippine government’s Labour Export Policy (LEP) that pushes us out of the country to work and be separated from our families. Jocelyn’s death is another in a long line of the many atrocities happening against Philippine migrants abroad, including in Canada.

The Philippines is a maldeveloped country cursed by a backward unindustrialized economy. It serves foreign interests by supplying cheap labour for components, a market for consumer goods, a source of raw materials, and now a source of workers and interest from debt. With this backward economy, the overwhelming number of Filipinos cannot find decent work to support themselves and their families.

To alleviate the potential social explosion due to mass unemployment and poverty, the government of the Philippines has turned to a labour export policy (LEP). It systematically sends people overseas to feed off the billions in remittances sent home every year, and represses opposition at home. Around 3000 Filipinos are now daily leaving the country to search for work abroad. There are now some ten million Filipinos outside the Philippines, working in over one hundred countries. And this year alone, they have remitted close to US$15 billion.

It is therefore such a shame that the Philippine Consulate continues to drag its feet in exercising its responsibility for bringing Jocelyn’s remains back to her hometown even as the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has already issued instructions “to provide … full assistance to the victim’s next of kin, especially in the repatriation of the remains to the Philippines.”

While we continue to raise support for the family that Jocelyn left behind, we strongly demand that the Philippine Consulate muster all the necessary resources to bring Jocelyn’s remains back home. The Consulate has the responsibility to look after the rights and welfare of its nationals, especially its overseas workers, who send billions of dollars to their home country every year, saving it from bankruptcy.

And while the Canadian authorities should conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of Jocelyn and bring the assailants to justice, all the more we, along with the rest of the Filipino community urge the Philippine government through its Consulate here in Toronto, to assume its responsibility in pressing the Canadian authorities in this regard.

THE JOCELYN DULNUAN SUPPORT COMMITTEE : Asosacion Negrense, AWARE/Gabay, Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), Ifugao Association, Migrante-Ontario [DAMAYAN Migrant Resource and Education Centre, SIKLAB, Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada-Toronto (UKPCTO), United Filipinos for Nationalism and Democracy (UfiND)], Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC), Philippine Press Club of Ontario (PPCO)

REFERENCE: Maria Sol Pajadura. Cell: 647-448-7030. Email:

(Photos by Alex Felipe

Jocelyn Dulnuan: Twice a Victim

October 4, 2007

Jocelyn Dulnuan: Twice a Victim

TORONTO -- Jocelyn Dulnuan, Filipina housekeeper of a multi-million dollar mansion in Mississauga, was murdered on Monday October 1st.

Her sister in law Regina Kinnud said that “the police called and started asking questions about Jocelyn… When we asked why, they said that she was dead”. Shocked by the news, Regina remembered Jocelyn as a “quiet and happy person”.

Jocelyn Dulnuan, 27 years old.
(Photo taken from related article in the Toronto Star, October 5, 2007:

Jocelyn came to Canada under the Live-In Caregiver Program, a federal government program that allows Filipinas to come as caregivers. In this program, she was required to live in her employer’s residence. “That is the inherent problem in the program” said Sol Pajadura, coordinator of Migrante-Ontario, an advocacy group that supports caregivers and other migrant Filipinos in Ontario. “Live-in caregivers are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and to something like what happened to Jocelyn” she added.

Regina sought the assistance of the Philippine consulate. Consular officials claim that the consulate does not have funds to repatriate Jocelyn’s remains and Jocelyn was an unregistered worker.

“It is a shame that the Consulate of the Philippines is denying Jocelyn its services. The Consulate has the responsibility to look after the rights and welfare of its nationals, especially its overseas workers, who send billions of dollars to their home country every year, saving it from bankruptcy.” said Ms. Pajadura. A similar view was expressed by an Ifugao email sender who said “Her citizenship and the circumstances (behind) her death, not her status, should be considered by the Philippine Consulate.”

Imie Belanger, a relative of Jocelyn, in an appeal to the community earlier said, “I am asking for any assistance in making sure that this tragedy does not get put in the backburner. Already, the investigating officer we spoke to this morning has ‘passed it on to someone else’ as he has another matter to attend to.”

Jocelyn came from an indigenous farming community in Ifugao province north of Manila. She worked for a year in Hong Kong as a domestic before coming to Canada. She dreamt that one day her husband and 4 year-old daughter would join her. That will never happen anymore. “It’s really sad to hear what happened to Jocelyn, like me and many others she left the Philippines to get a better job” said Michelle Gose, a member of migrant organization Siklab. “Not only did she suffer a violent death, she was also a casualty of our government’s program that pushes us out of the country to work and be separated from our families” Michelle added.

While waiting for the Philippine Consulate to come forward and take its responsibility towards Jocelyn, Filipino migrant workers’ groups and concerned community organizations have started collecting information to send to Jocelyn’s mother in Hong Kong and to ensure that her body will be sent back to their hometown.

Spearheaded by Migrante-Ontario, a Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee will be formed to provide assistance to the repatriation of the Jocelyn’s remains and to support the family.

REFERENCE: Maria Sol Pajadura. Cell: 647-448-7030. Email:

Friday, September 14, 2007

An Evening of Peace and Music - 35 Years After Martial Law

Presented by Philippine Advocacy Through Arts - Canada (PATAC) and the Philippine Network for Justice and Peace (PNJP)

Saturday, September 22, 2007
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
OPSEU Region 5 Office
31 Wellesley Street East
(blue building across Wellelsley subway station)

Levy Abad, Jr.
Belinda Corpuz

September 21st 1972 is one of the darkest days in the Philippine history. 35 years ago dictator Ferdinand Marcos placed the Philippines in the state of martial rule. Progressive politicians, journalists, student and labor activists disappeared, and were arrested and tortured. The situation now is disturbingly similar to what happened then. Since 2001, more than 830 politically motivated deaths have been documented. Many people believe that that the Filipino state security forces are involved in these political killings. Ironically, September 21st is also the International Day for Peace.

It is fitting to reminisce about the past if only to remind us that we should not let it happen again. Join us in commemorating the lives of the victims and survivors and all those who continue to fight for a free, democratic and peaceful society.

This is a FREE event. Donations are welcome - proceeds will go to the Children's Rehabilitation Center (Philippines).
For more information, call (416) 486-8428 or e-mail

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What is PATAC?

In May 2007, a group of artists and concerned citizens who share a common interest in promoting and advancing the rights, welfare and well-being of Filipinos and people of Filipino-descent through the use of various art media, formed the Philippine Advocacy through Arts in Canada (PATAC).

PATAC is an Anglicized spelling of the Filipino word ‘patak.’ It means a drop of something and aptly describes the basic principle of the organization. ‘Patak-patak lang’ is a common phrase that Filipinos say when they want to ask everyone to contribute to the achievement of something, whether it be a contribution to help someone or to buy a meal. It is this same principle that PATAC adheres to. We believe that with a little help from everyone, we will be able to achieve our dream.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Continuation of Our People's Struggle

Speech delivered at the launch of two seminal studies on the Filipino community published by the Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS)
July 12, 2007

Thank you for giving us this opportunity tonight.

This launch of the two studies by Dr. Philip Kelly and Mila Garcia is very important to us. For the first time in the history of our community in Canada, we are seeing that our community indeed counts, not only because the studies are being published, but because we were involved in the development of these.

Working in the Justice for Jeffrey campaign was for us a lot of hard work. It was also very emotional for us because we were dealing with the loss of one of our own. At the same time, it was also very empowering for us to see that we are able to unite and work together for the common cause of justice.

For the longest time our community has been viewed as docile and silent. Our youth have been labeled compliant and indifferent. For us youth, this image of our people obscures our identity and leaves nothing for us to be proud of.

But this development has allowed us to break away from this image and allowed us to connect to our people's long history of struggle and resistance against foreign and local oppression.

While we struggle for our community's genuine development and equity here, we always keep in mind as well that our community's huge presence in Canada is deeply rooted in the history and socio-economic conditions in our home country, the Philippines .

Being children of migrants and immigrants, we are very much aware of the fact that the choice to come here is driven by the need for economic survival and the desire for a better future for us, their children. If there were decent jobs in the Phil ippines , many of our compatriots would not have had to make the sacrifice of coming to Canada .

And just as we fight for our community's rights and welfare here, our fellow Filipinos in the Philippines are also waging struggle for better social conditions - for justice, genuine freedom and peace for our people. They forge on, although under conditions there that are far more severe.

Thus, we have youth and student leaders like Cris Hugo, Rio Mon Guran, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño who have been killed and abducted because they dared to expose the inequalities and injustices people are facing, and to speak out against unjust policies. We stand in solidarity with them because we view our struggle and theirs as one. The Filipino people have a long history of struggle and resistance against foreign and local oppressors, and the actions we take now are but a continuation of that struggle .

So tonight, we thank you for this tribute. We share it with all our fellow immigrant youth. And we offer it in turn to our fellow youth in the Philippines - all of whom are working to create the better future that we all dream of.