Children ACT Now! says:

Chase the thief in the Palace

 

 

Posted March 23, 2008

 

 

   
   
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Photos courtesy of Children ACT Now! / Salinlahi
           
"ARANGKADAng-kadang ng mga Bata at Kababaihan Laban sa Magnanakaw sa Malakanyang
           

 

Children ACT Now! (Children Against Corruption and Tyranny Now!)

A Network of Child Rights Advocates against Corruption and Tyranny

 

SECRETARIAT ADDRESS:  21-A1 Malvar Extension Bgy. Bagumbuhay, Project 4, Quezon City

E-mail address: salinlahiphilippines@yahoo.com.ph Telefax: 439 3104

 

NEWS RELEASE

2 March 2008

 

Reference: SOPHIA FLOR GARDUCE, Executive Director, Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia and Co-Convenor, Children Act Now! (09285057207)

 

Women and Children Say: Chase the Thief in Malacañang!

 

Child rights advocates, women and children were one in condemning corruption as it robs the next generation of their future. This was what the "ARANGKADAng-kadang ng mga Bata at Kababaihan Laban sa Magnanakaw sa Malakanyang" showed today at the University of the Philippines' Diliman grounds.  "The well-being and protection of children's rights is a social responsibility.  We work hand-in-hand with women as well as other sectors of society in upholding the rights of children for a better future," said Sophia Garduce, co-convenor of the Children ACT Now! network.

 

The activity was participated in by more than 300 children and adults.  Featuring the traditional Filipino game called kadang-kadang which makes use of coconut shells as stilts, the walkathon against corruption was made enjoyable for the children, as they chased a Gloria-look alike running away with the ZTE millions.

 

Today's activity showed the outrage of women and children directly affected by the unimaginable amounts of stolen money that could have afforded children and women increased access to basic social services like education, health services and livelihood. The kadang-kadang symbolized the various problems and rights violations that children and women alike are burdened with, while they struggle to chase Gloria and make her accountable for her “crimes” against them. "A growing number of mothers from poor communities suffer the vision of their children wasting away from hunger and malnutrition, while Gloria Arroyo and her economic magicians lay claim to improving economic indicators," Garduce remarked.

 

The group also expressed the need for more women and children to participate in actions to stop corruption and to hold the culprits accountable. In particular, Garduce called on them to participate in and support the March 8 International Women's day action organized by BABALA! (Babae Laban sa Katiwalian), another formation of women who are calling for truth and accountability on the ongoing ZTE scandal.

 

"The Children ACT Now! network is committed to hold more activities if Arroyo and her allies continue to hide the truth, and continue to escape accountability for grave sins against the populace. We know that this is a long and painstaking battle, especially in educating the future generation on the kind of good governance that they rightly deserve. But it will be worth a good fight because it concerns our children, the hope of our nation," Garduce concluded.###

 

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NEWS RELEASE
03 March 2008
 
Reference:  SOPHIA GARDUCE, Co-Convenor, CHILDREN ACT NOW NETWORK;
Executive Director, Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia (ARCSEA)    (Contact number:  09285057207)  

CHILDREN KNOW MORE ABOUT CHILDREN’S RIGHTS THAN ARROYO MALACANANG OFFICIALS  

In response to Malacanang’s reaction that children cannot join rallies, child rights advocates advised the Arroyo government officials to go back to primary school and review lessons on children’s rights. “Children seem to know more about their rights than most Arroyo government officials.  No wonder the government has done litte for the future of the next generation of Filipinos,” said Sophia Garduce, Co-convenor of the CHILDREN ACT NOW, a national network of child rights and welfare organizations against corruption and tyranny.  

Garduce said that the Arroyo government cannot discount the children’s participation in rallies and activities in issues perceived to be “issues of adults” because they are also part of the Filipino families affected by the issues.  “All issues in the Philippine society are children’s issues because they are always in the receiving end of the effects.  Money lost through corruption hinders children’s access to basic services.  And children feel these effects.”  

The participants of last Sunday’s activity, in which Malacanang apparently reacted to were urban poor children, children victims of militarization and children of child rights advocates.  In preparation for the activity, the group conducted several educational workshops to help the children understand the issue.  They held a forum workshop last February 25 at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani to emphasize positive values to counter-act corruption such as the value of service without receiving anything in exchange and the value of collective action.  Various awareness-raising activities were also held in the different communities of the network organizations.

` Garduce also assailed the idea that children should just concentrate on their studies.  She said that joining activities, including rallies, are venues of learning and value formation outside the four walls of the classroom.   “The government wants to perpetuate a generation of passive, silent and apathetic Filipinos,” Garduce said.  “And this is what we want to break.  We want our children to think, be critical and speak out their opinions, especially on matters that directly affect them.”  

She urged the government to study the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  She cited in particular Articles 12 – 15 that emphasized the right to express, be heard and participate.  “They should keep in mind the essence of participation and not merely engage in tokenism.”   She cited the “use” of school children to welcome foreign dignitaries in various places.  “These children line up along the road very early in the morning, without being asked whether they wanted to do this or not, and they are not asked about their opinions on events such as this,” said Garduce.  “But if children go to rallies or activities that provide them venues to think, be critical and express themselves, the Arroyo administration immediately reacts.”  

Garduce urged child rights organizations, individual advocates, parents and children themselves to continue learning and expressing their opinions on various issues that affect them.  “As victims of government neglect and repression, these children are in the best position to express and make actions that will change their current destitute situation.”  ###

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Salinlahi supports Jun Lozada
           

 

 

NEWS RELEASE

12 February 2008

 

Reference:  ALPHONSE RIVERA, Spokesperson (09296076157)

 

CHILDREN AND CHILD RIGHTS ADVOCATES ADMIRE LOZADA’S “COURAGEOUS ACT”

 

The Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns has joined different civil society organizations in supporting Rodolfo Lozada for exposing the anomalous ZTE-NBN deal and in seeking accountability from the corruption-filled Arroyo administration.

 

“We admire Mr. Lozada’s courageous stand.  It is an act that should be well-emulated by our children especially at this time when truthfulness and transparency among government officials are but empty words,” declared Alphonse Rivera, Spokesperson of the alliance.

 

According to Rivera, it is unimaginable that these government officials sleep soundly at night even after pocketing the government’s coffers, knowing pretty well that the amount could feed millions of hungry Filipino children.  “How shameless can this government be that in the face of children committing suicide because of poverty, it is so pre-occupied in covering up for corrupt officials?”

 

To show their support for Lozada, children from the Children’s Collective, a group of children advocates, are  planning to troop to the Senate and give red and white roses to Mr. Lozada and the senators.   They will also give a letter to Mr. Lozada that encourages him to continue telling the truth about the deal because their future will be affected in the long run.  “Do not be afraid to tell the truth.  Do not be afraid of the government because it is just the government.  We are part of the people in supporting you,” the children’s letter read.

 

 

     

Salinlahi urged all other child rights group and individuals to stand for the country’s future and against the corrupt Arroyo government.  “Through its brazen corruption, the Arroyo government officials steal not only funds but the children’s future as well.  Let us hold the Arroyo government accountable for its corruption.  Let us stop this government from further corrupting our future generation,” Rivera concluded.  ###

 

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Children power against corruption
           

Children ACT Now! (Children Against Corruption and Tyranny Now!)

An Alliance of Child Rights Advocates against Corruption and Tyranny

SECRETARIAT ADDRESS: 21-A1 Malvar Extension Brgy. Bagumbuhay Project 4,

Quezon City

E-mail address: salinlahiphilippines@yahoo.com.ph  Telefax:  439 3104

 

NEWS RELEASE

25 February 2008

 

Reference:         SOPHIA GARDUCE, Executive Director (ARCSEA) and Convenor of CHILDREN ACT NOW! A Network of Child Rights Advocates Against Corruption and Tyranny

 

CHILDREN POWER AGAINST CORRUPTION STAGED AT THE BANTAYOG NG MGA BAYANI

 

About 500 children and child rights advocates from grassroot communities gathered today at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani for educational and cultural activities that taught the children concepts of corruption, collective action, social responsibility and people power. This is part of the move of child rights advocates to raise awareness among children and their families on the current burning issues in Philippine society. 

 

Earlier, children from the Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, a lead convenor of the network, offered flowers and lit candles at the Wall of Remembrance in an early morning commemoration of People Power I.  The Wall of Remembrances lists names of martyrs who gave their lives in the continuing struggle for freedom and a just society. The children held placards calling out to other children to remember well the lessons of people power.

 

The CHILDREN ACT NOW! Organization called out for other child rights organization to join their growing number in standing up and speaking out in the midst of political development. Sophia Garduce, Executive Director of the Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia (ARCSEA), a co-convenor of the network said, “A fire is burning in the hearts of child rights advocates that wants to burn out Corruption and Tyranny in the Arroyo administration.”

 

According to Garduce, the government, contrary to carrying out its responsibility in caring for the younger generation, is now the foremost perpetrator of crimes against Filipino children’s right to survival, protection and development. “Children are the Number One victims of corruption. These thieves in Malacañang are robbing them of food that they are about to eat, leaving them hungry …. of vaccinations to increase their chances of survival…. of quality textbooks and classrooms to study in….  In short, they are stealing the future of the children.”

 

We have to teach our children the real lessons from the People Power of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. “The corruption and state violence of the Marcos adminsitration continue to prevail to date under the Arroyo administration” Garduce explained.  “But it does not mean People Power is meaningless because it taught us that for as long as corruption and tyranny reigns its evil head, we can prevail to topple down a government of cheaters, thieves and liars.  Also, we need to remind our children that our vigilance and perseverance should continue until we are able to build a government and a society that respects children’s rights and wellbeing.”

 

The children enjoyed games like Ang Salbaheng Lobo and others while condemning anomalous projects of the Arroyo government like the Cyber Ed Project and the hot ZTE NBN deal. They learned that corruption is not just stealing but using power bestowed by the people to steal from the people.  “We must instill these lessons and values to the children even at a very young age to break the culture of passivity and apathy that perpetuates corruption,” said Garduce.  “It’s high time we encourage children to be critical, active and vigilant so that when they become the future leaders, they will continue to build a just society that cares for its children.”  ###

 

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Children ACT Now! (Children Against Corruption and Tyranny Now!)

An Alliance of Child Rights Advocates against Corruption and Tyranny

SECRETARIAT ADDRESS:                     

21-A1 Malvar Extension Brgy. Bagumbuhay

Project 4, Quezon City

E-mail address: salinlahiphilippines@yahoo.com.ph  Telefax:  439 3104

 

NEWS RELEASE

23 February 2008

 

Reference:  ALPHONSE RIVERA, Salinlahi Spokesperson and Convenor, Children Act NOW!  (09296076157)

 

CHILDREN ACT NOW!

 

“Learning by doing.”  This is how child rights advocates teach children the different concepts related to their rights.  And this is exactly how they taught children the right to freely express opinions and the value of collective action.

 

In a gathering of child rights advocates, various child-focused NGOs formed the Child Rights Advocates Act against Corruption and Tyranny Now! (Children ACT Now!) and came up with a unity statement that condemned the practice of corruption by government officials at the expense of the budget for basic services for children and their families.  “We are appalled that millions of pesos in cash for bribes changed hands among those in power while our children and their families struggle to work for a whole day’s subsistence,” their unity statement read.

 

The group also expressed their disgust at Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her family, as well as her cronies for living off “on people’s money while our children work on the streets, in quarries, in sweatshops and even in dirty canals and rivers to earn a decent living.” 

 

Representatives of the group led by Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia, KPACIO, Peace for Life and Mapalad Ka carried an oversized styro slipper representing the collective action of child rights workers.  They used the slipper to hit an oversized can representing corruption in government, as in the children’s game, Tumbang Preso.  “Our children do not deserve her disgraceful and dishonourable government.  We demand that GMA account and face the consequences of this unbelievable degree of corruption. We must continue to teach our children that for every wrong done, there is accountability.”

 

While child rights advocates’ greatest virtue is patience, they said that their “patience with the Arroyo government has grown thin and time has run out”.  They added that “our children deserve a better government, better leaders and a better future, without Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Malacanang.” In order to realize this, they are calling on child rights advocates from all over the country, as well as the children -- the future generation, to exercise vigilance against future leaders who may do just the same or even worse than what GMA is doing now.

 

The group planned a series of activities that involved discussions among parents and children in their communities on the issue of corruption vis-à-vis the situation of children through various creative forms.  They are also slated to do a forum-interaction on corruption to be participated in by about 500 children and child rights advocates on February 25. 

 

Joining the national organizations in the alliance are child rights organizations Kabiba Alliance from Southern Mindanao based in Davao City and the Children’s Rehabilitation Center- Panay Regional Office based in Iloilo City.  More organizations are expected to join the alliance in the next few days. ###

 

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Children ACT Now! (Children Against Corruption and Tyranny Now!)

An Alliance of Child Rights Advocates against Corruption and Tyranny

SECRETARIAT ADDRESS:                      21-A1 Malvar Extension Brgy. Bagumbuhay Project 4, Quezon City

E-mail address: salinlahiphilippines@yahoo.com.ph  Telefax:  439 3104

 

UNITY STATEMENT

 

We are child rights advocates coming from different organizations and institutions concerned with the continuing crisis situation of Filipino children.  Our organizations were born out of the need to respond to the needs and welfare of the children, and to fill the gap in government’s service to the particular group of children we serve – urban poor children, street children, children of migrant workers, children victims of human rights violations, children of peasants and workers, children of indigenous peoples groups, etc.

 

We are the partners of parents in moulding the identity, personality, values and potentials of their children.  We are part of the community and society working for the respect, protection and realization of the rights of children.

 

The current political storm hitting our country that involves corruption in government up to the highest office has caused much alarm especially for us involved in the delivery of basic services.  We are appalled that millions of pesos in cash for bribes changed hands among those in power while our children and their families struggle to work for one whole day’s subsistence. 

 

We are disgusted that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s presidency can live off on people’s money while our children work on the streets, in quarries, in sweatshops and even in dirty canals and rivers to earn a decent living.  We are dismayed these government officials continue to lie through their teeth in the face of overwhelming testimony of corruption and get away with it even as we try to instil the value of honesty and trustworthiness to our children.

 

We worry about the culture of impunity in which corruption pervades.  We are concerned with the kind of values that such indecency shown by Mrs. Arroyo  will convey to our children. 

 

As child rights advocates, we advocate sincerity, social justice and moral decency.  We have had enough of the lying, cheating, stealing and killing by Mrs. Arroyo.  Our children do not deserve her disgraceful and dishonourable government.  We demand that account and face the consequences of this unbelievable degree of corruption. We must continue to teach our children that for every wrong done, there is accountability.

 

As child rights advocates, we consider patience as our greatest virtue.  But for the crisis situation of the Filipino children, NOW is important.  Because tomorrow, the child may die... because later, he will no longer be a child.  The longer Mrs. Arroyo continues to plunder our nation’s coffers, our children will suffer more and more violations of their rights. Now, our patience with the Arroyo government has grown thin and time has run out. We condemn its deceitful and thieving ways.

 

Our children deserve a better government, better leaders and a better future, and this essentially means a Malacanang without Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In order to realize this, we call on ourselves, child rights advocates from all over the country, as well as the children, our future generation, to exercise vigilance against future leaders who may do just the same or even worse than what Mrs. Arroyo is doing now.

Participating Organizations: SALINLAHI • ARCSEA • TFUC-AMRSP • NCCP-YOUTH DESK  • KPACIO• TCCFI •SMPB •  CHLDREN’S ALLIANCE AGAINST CORRUPTION AND DECEIPT •  PETA • CRC-NO • CML • CPCD • PAI •  KALAYAG-BICOL • PEACE FOR LIFE • CITIZEN’S NETWORK FOR JAPANESE-FILIPINO CHILDREN• MAPALAD KA • KABIBA MINDANAO •  CRC-PANAY •  and many others

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