The US Chapter of 1SAMBAYAN launched online a coalition representing the broad spectrum of political persuasions of Filipinos last August 11. The coalition aims to unite various Filipinos groups and push for a competent, trustworthy administration in the May 2022 national elections in the Philippines. The event encouraged Filipinos in the US to register for the Overseas Absentee Voter and get involved.
Hosted by Ginger Leopoldo and Giselle Tongi, the 1SAMBAYAN launch started off with solidarity messages, music videos and a voter registration video guide featuring Filipina actress and artist Maria Isabel Lopez. These were followed by a riveting rendition of “O Bayan Ko” composed by National Artist Ryan Cayabyab and performed by the Ateneo Chamber Singers and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.
The solidarity messages came from US Pinoys for Good Governance, Malaya Movement, Filipino American Human Rights Alliance and the National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns-Inland Empire.
After the solidarity messages, the program featured speeches from 1SAMBAYAN convenors started by Fr. Bert Alejo, who spoke about the importance of the 2022 election. He talked about the need to build institutions. “To organize and not just agonize. To put up leaders who knows the rules and follow the rules. To put up people who would bring in new beautiful and powerful laws and implement them. And lastly the need to build up politics itself,” Fr. Alejo concluded.
The dire conditions of the health care system under Duterte administration was shared by Dr. Joseph Carabeo who talked about the government neglect during the pandemic and the important role of the health sector. Dr. Carabeo is a member of 1Sambayan Health Sector Committee. He concluded his speech by saying “Kami ay lagi na lang nahaharap sa karhasan imbes na kami ay magusap ng kagalingan. Wakasan na ang ganitong palakad, wakasan para makakita tayo ng mas masiglang bukas!”
From the youth and students sector, Renee Louise Co gave emphasis on the large part to play in the upcoming elections and in the formation of 1SAMBAYAN. She said “Let’s just keep it up. Let’s just ensure that our ideas, our efforts, and our time continue to chip away into the walls. It starts here, it starts in alliance building, it starts in organizations, it starts in 1SAMBAYAN and in 1SAMBAYAN USA.”
Joanna Concepcion, 1Sambayan Convener and representative for overseas Filipinos, presented the importance of overseas Filipinos in the upcoming elections. She said “Napakahalaga ang kontribusyon ng ating mga kababayan sa ibayong-dagat ngayong darating na makasaysayang halalan 2022. Bawat boto natin ay pagtinding para sa tunay na demokrasya at kapayapaan na batay sa hustisya. Bawat boto natin ay pagsigaw na tama na, wakasan na, hindi tayo mananahimik lamang”
The national coordinator for 1SAMBAYAN USA, Yves Nibungco ended the program by saying that the work of 1SAMBAYAN does not end in the launch. He said that “Kailangan nating maglunsad ng isang malawakang grassroots campaign para irehistro ang ating mga kababayan. Kailangan mai-drive natin ang point na kailangang tumaya at ma-involveang bawat Pilipino sa darating na eleksyon.
1SAMBAYAN USA is organizing a national new member orientation on August 25, 5pm-630pm pst/ 7-830pm cst/ 8pm-930pm. 1SAMBAYAN USA plans to conduct forums, voter registration campaigns, fundraisers and other activities leading up to the May 2022 Philippine national elections.