"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

LA rights groups to mobilize Nov. 21 vs. GMA's 'junket', 'gloating'

LOS ANGELES – An alliance of two rights groups will organize and lead a protest against what the termed as "the unpopular and much despised Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo" during her stopover in Los Angeles on her way to the APEC Summit in Peru this weekend.

In a press release BAYAN-USA and the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) said that "In her nth time of foreign junkets at the expense of the Filipino people's money, she will be with her clique of subservient politicians, trying to gain support for her illegitimate stay in power. In light of the severe global financial crisis and its severe effect on the Filipino people's lives, Macapagal-Arroyo shamelessly travels elsewhere to gloat about the 'enchanted kingdom' she created in the Philippines."

According to Philippine Embassy news release, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will have a brief stopover in Los Angeles on Nov. 21 to meet with the Filipino community before proceeding to Peru to join other leaders from the 21 Asia-Pacific economies for the 16th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders´ Summit scheduled on Nov. 22-23 in Lima.

The President's meeting with the Filipino community will be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel here at around 6 p.m. on Friday. She is scheduled to leave Los Angeles at 8:30 p.m. for the nine-hour flight to Lima. Her delegation includes Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Press Secretary Jesus Dureza.

APEC is an agreement mechanism with a regional and inter-governmental range that groups the 21 Asia-Pacific economies of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, People´s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.

BAYAN-USA and ILPS said they "hold the Arroyo government accountable and responsible for the large-scale corruption, gross economic mismanagement and servility to policies imposed by the foreign big multinational corporations. This Arroyo scourge has hounded the Filipino people and nation since she usurped power seven years ago. As a result, the people are continuously battered with dire poverty, unemployment, very low wages for those who have jobs and high prices of essential daily needs. And in their struggle to better their lives, many people and their leaders are murdered, incarcerated and forcibly disappeared. There is a wide militarization in the countryside and in some urban centers."

In connection with the Arroyo visit, the two groups published the following schedule:

Press conference starting at 5:30 PM (representatives will be available for interviews)

Picket to follow immediately after Press Conference

When: Friday, November 21, 2008

Where: Sheraton Gateway Hotel, 6101 West Century Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90045

Dionesio C. Grava - Community journalist based in Los Angeles. Member of New America Media, Society of Professional Journalists, and Society of Environmental Journalists, among others.

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