UKPC/FCYA - Toronto

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

Monday, September 26, 2005

STATEMENT: On the killing of labour leader Diosdado Fortuna

National Statement of Overseas Filipinos in Canada
Solidarity message to Nestlé workers

The news of the recent politically-motivated killing of labour leader Diosdado Fortuna "Ka Fort", chairman of the militant Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (Solidarity of Workers in Southern Tagalog), the regional chapter of Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) in Southern Tagalog, enrages us Filipinos working and living in Canada. We raise high our voices of protest against Ka Fort's brutal and unjust murder at the hands of the Swiss-owned Nestlé Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and their commander-in-chief Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

As Filipinos in Canada, we mourn the premature loss of Ka Fort, leader of Nestlé Philippines labour union, which has been waging a militant strike for over 3 years now. A number of our own community members have had the opportunity to visit Nestlé workers and draw inspiration from you in your ceaseless struggle for just wages and working conditions.

Fortuna's untimely death comes at a time of unbridled state terror against the Filipino people. His death is the latest addition to the long string of human rights violations under Arroyo's presidency. From January 2001 to June 2005, Karapatan has documented 4207 cases of human rights violations affecting 232,795 individuals or 24,299 families in 237 communities. We are not intimidated nor silenced by the use of repression and violence against our fellow country people whose very lives, including those of our families depend on the commitment of workers' solidarity on the strike line.

We join you in denouncing the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) saying that Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas' "Assumption of Jurisdiction" (AJ) orders serve to bring more hostility and misery to workers by banning your right to strike. We hold Arroyo and her lackeys, along with Sto. Tomas, accountable for essentially directing the violence against Nestlé workers with the AJ order implementation.

The hands of these state officials are stained with blood. We have not forgotten how Sto. Tomas exercised her assumption of jurisdiction powers to order police and military forces to break the picket line of some 6000 striking sugar plantation workers at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac which massacred seven of them on November 16 of last year.

Our very presence outside of the Philippines is a result of our government's failure to ensure us decent work and livelihood in our own country. Filipinos living below the poverty line have increased from 57% of the total of families in 1975 to 70% in 1998, then to 85% in 2003. Unemployment has grown from 8.1% in 1990 to its highest ever at 13.7% in the first quarter of 2004. The minimum wage of P250 in NCR accounts for only 45% of rising cost of living. It is these conditions of state-imposed poverty and unemployment, with more and more closures of factories that force us to migrate overseas for our basic survival.

We are sold to the lowest bidder, separated from our families, stripped of our dignity and skills, and exploited as sources of cheap labour on the global market. Scattered all over the world, we now constitute 10 per cent of the nation's population. Collectively, remittances of overseas Filipino workers have grown to 8.5 billion USD in 2004 to help uplift the country's putrid economy.

As Filipinos in Canada, we therefore condemn the killing and demand justice for Diosdado Fortuna. We stand in solidarity with all of you striking workers of Nestlé Philippines who refuse to be frightened into silence.

Makibaka! Huwag Matakot!
Katarungan sa lalong madaling panahon para kay Ka Fort!
Long live the Filipino people's struggle for national freedom and democracy!

Statement of:

Vancouver --
SIKLAB (Advance the Rights and Welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers)
Filipino Nurses Support Group
Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance (UKPC) - Vancouver
Philippine Women Centre of BC

Toronto --
Philippine Network for Justice and Peace
Philippine Women Centre of Ontario
Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance (UKPC) -Toronto
Filipino Workers' Support Committee

Ottawa --
Pilipinong Migrante sa Canada (PMSC)

Montreal --
PINAY Montreal
Kabataang Montreal

National --
National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada

Photo above courtesy of Bulatlat News.
For the full story on the killing of Ka Fort, see

Thursday, September 15, 2005

EVENT: Gloria Under Fire

Gloria Under Fire

The Arroyo Regime in Crisis and the People's Response

The Philippine Network for Justice and Peace, Philippine Solidarity Group of Toronto and the Philippine Reporter invite you to a reportback from an International Solidarity Mission to the Philippines

Wednesday, September 21, 2005
6:00pm to 9:00pm
University Settlement Recreation Centre
23 Grange Road
(just off McCaul St. south of Dundas/
steps from the Ontario College of Art and Design)

Guest presentor and speaker Manny Sayo of B.C. Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, was part of the recently held International Solidarity Mission in the Philippines. He also participated in the International People’s Tribunal that looked into reported cases of human rights violations committed by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government and its armed forces on the leaders and members of progressive people’s organizations, lawyers, journalists and church people.

For more info, call (416) 418-1577.

IN PRINT & ONLINE: Ugnayan-Toronto in Malaya newspaper

See blurb about Ugnayan-Toronto in Philippine-based Malaya newspaper's website:

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

ON AIR: Ugnayan-Toronto boards the Pinoy Express

Tune in to Radyo Pinoy 101.3FM tonight, Tuesday, September 13, at 8-9PM and join Ugnayan-Toronto on the program Pinoy Express. Listen in as host Paul de la Cruz interviews us about what Ugnayan-TO is, our activities and current campaigns, and issues of youth in our community.

Call in during the program to ask questions, give us feedback and share your views - (416) 593-0055. We'd love to hear from you, too.


*click on image to enlarge

  1. From Sherbourne Station, walk 4 small blocks south or take the 75 southbound bus
  2. From Wellesley Station, walk 4 blocks east or take the 94 eastbound bus

Saturday, September 03, 2005

EVENT: SAKAY NA! Hopping on to the Community Scene

Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada/
Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance - Toronto Chapter
(UKPC/FCYA-TO) invites all Filipino youth to

Hopping on to the Community Scene
Open house & meet-and-greet event for Filipino youth

Saturday, September 17, 2005 > 1-5pm
Wellesley Community Centre> 495 Sherbourne St. > Room B
(Northeast corner of Wellesley and Sherbourne Streets)

*Meet UKPC/FCYA-Toronto and find out what activities we have in store for you
*Meet other Filipino youth organizations
*High school students - sign up with us for your volunteer hours
*Share your ideas on how young people can get involved in our community

This event is free.



Media Release -REVISED
September 13, 2005

Ugnayan-Toronto hops on to the community scene

Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada / Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance – Toronto Chapter (UKPC/FCYA or Ugnayan-Toronto) is calling on all Filipino youth to join them for SAKAY NA! Hopping on to the Community Scene. SAKAY NA! is Ugnayan-Toronto’s open house which takes place on Saturday, September 17, 2005, at 1-5pm at the Wellesley Community Centre at 495 Sherbourne St., Room B.

Founded in November 2000, Ugnayan-Toronto has conducted education and organizing work around issues affecting the lives of Filipino Canadian youth, such as racism, family separation, challenges in education, young workers’ rights and the roots of Filipino migration.

Its current projects include active participation in the Justice for Jeffrey campaign, as well as a partnership with Scadding Court Community Centre for a Hate Crimes Project. The organization also supports campaigns in the Philippines, such as the campaign for human rights. It is also conducting a drive for school supplies for the children of the striking workers of Hacienda Luisita.

As the group approaches its fifth year, Ugnayan-Toronto’s members have resolved to step up their organizing efforts and more actively reach out to the community.

"The open house is Ugnayan-Toronto’s way of once again introducing itself to our community," says Debbie Celis. "At the same time, we also want to take this opportunity to hear from our fellow youth what issues matter most to them as Filipino Canadians, whether they're first or second generation Fil-Cans."

Individual youth, as well as existing Filipino youth and student organizations are invited to SAKAY NA!. According to Divine Montesclaros, "Besides being our open house, this is also a networking event. It’s a chance for young people who aren’t currently involved in the community to see that there are lots of ways in which they can get involved, and for different organizations to see how we can work together on common issues. This way, we’re encouraging young Filipinos to become active so that we can really have a voice in our community and in Canadian society."

The open house will include a presentation from Ugnayan-Toronto, open discussion and socials. For more information, e-mail or call Mithi at (647) 273-6553.