Fil-Ams demand better apology from Carolla over Pacquiao slur

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau | 04/07/2010 2:59 PM

NEW YORK – Author and psychologist Dr. Kevin Nadal has defended the Filipino community against racial slurs before, having led protests against ABC in 2007 after the network’s hit show Desperate Housewives made a slanderous comment about the Philippines’ reputation in the medical community.

ABC apologized and made amends after the snafu.

Now, Nadal has something—or someone, rather—new to focus on. Comedian and radio personality Adam Carolla, known as former host of Loveline with Dr. Drew, and The Man Show, recently disparaged boxer Manny Pacquiao and the Philippines in his podcast.

“Here’s how you know your country doesn’t have a lot going for it when everything is about Manny Pacquiao. Get a ***ing life as a country,” Carolla said. Carolla also said Pacquiao was illiterate, that the Philippines was only known for the boxer and its sex tourism industry, and that Pacquiao prays over chicken bones.

Nadal immediately published an online petition demanding an apology from Carolla.

“We need to fight every time and anytime someone does anything that’s unjust or anything that is discriminatory towards our community,” Nadal said.

With more than 3,000 signatures and counting, it’s now the number one petition on

Carolla has since apologized via his Twitter page, saying he’s sorry he offended many Filipinos, and that while he tries to be “provocative” and “funny,” he “crossed the line,” adding later that Manny is a great fighter.

Pacquiao has accepted Carolla’s apology, but Nadal says it’s not enough. Nadal wants Carolla to apologize on his podcast, so everyone can hear Carolla “in his own voice.”

Some Filipinos say however that there is a degree of truth to Carolla’s statements. Valerie Francisco of the Filipino womens’ rights group Gabriela USA says, “The issue of sex trade affecting women and children in the Philippines has been a really grave problem and a serious issue.”

Other Filipinos, however, believe paying attention to Carolla is not worth it, and may just give him attention he doesn’t deserve.

“If we waste a lot of effort just policing this guy, it might be a band-aid solution,” said Brian Tenorio.

Francisco adds that the end of statements similar to Carolla’s will end “when Filipinos change the character of how the whole world looks at them as migrant workers and global citizens.”

View the online petition here Balitang America

Fil-Am Women Denounce Adam Carolla’s Promotion of Sexual Exploitation of Filipina

For Immediate Release
April 5, 2010

Reference: Raquel Redondiez, Chair of GABRIELA USA,

Fil-Am Women Denounce Adam Carolla’s Promotion of Sexual Exploitation of Filipinas

Demeaning Comments of CBS Comedian Underscores Necessity of GABRIELA’s IVOW Campaign To Combat Violence Against Women Including Sexual  Exploitation and Trafficking of Women and Children

GABRIELA-USA condemns Adam Carolla’s repulsive comments disparaging Manny Pacquio and joking about sex tours in the Philippines.

“There is nothing funny about the sexual exploitation of women and children and the illicit sex trade in the Philippines.   Adam Carolla and CBS should issue a formal apology.  It is these types of irresponsible comments that help reinforce the culture of violence against women” says Raquel Redondiez, Chairwoman of GABRIELA-USA.

The extreme poverty and reprehensible sex trade at the expense of women’s and children’s bodies is rooted in decades-long neo-colonial relationship that the Philippines has had with the United States.  While Carolla wrongfully blames the Filipino people for these deplorable realities, the truth is that the primary driver of the sex trade in the Philippines is the history of United States military presence in the Philippines since the Spanish-American War. For over a century, U.S. imperial power has been maintained in the Philippines through wars of aggression often fought on women’s and children’s bodies through rape, prostitution, and sex trafficking.

“The comments are not only ignorant, racist, and demeaning to all Filipinos, but they are also harmful to the thousands of women and children who are involuntarily trafficked and forced into the sex trade every year as a result of the Philippine nation-state’s impoverished economic conditions.” says Terrie Cervas of SIGAW, a Los Angeles-based group of Filipinas.

Since the Philippines’ nominal independence from U.S. colonial rule in 1946, U.S. military bases were banned from the land.  However, the U.S. has been able to evade justice by enacting the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which has allowed continues  U.S. military presence throughout the archipelago.   The VFA has promoted the prevalence of U.S. military personnel to act with impunity.  U.S. military presence in the Philippines promote the sex trade industry, resulting in massive cases of sexual exploitation including the involuntary rape and trafficking of women and children.

“We have not forgotten Nicole who was raped by U.S. Marine Daniel Smith and the countless other Filipino women and children who have been victimized as a result of institutionalized racism and American media’s hypersexualization of Pinays.” says Valerie Francisco,  Chair of Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment, a New York- based Filipino-American group.

To combat institutionalized violence and oppression, especially towards Filipino women and children, GABRIELA-USA launched an educational campaign in February called “iVOW to Fight VAW”.  The campaign seeks increase awareness and raise public condemnation of violence against women (VAW), as well as education diverse communities on the root causes of the different forms of violence.  Carolla’s crude comments have proven the need for such conversations to continue in order to fight violence against women and children.

GABRIELA-USA is a national alliance of progressive Filipino women organizations and an overseas chapter o”f GABRIELA Philippines, with Babae in San Francisco, Pinay Sa Seattle, Sisters of Gabriela Awaken in Los Angeles, and Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment in New York City.

GABRIELA USA Celebrates First Year Anniversary Launching National IVOW Campaign

Press Statement
March 29, 2010

Raquel Redondiez, Chair of GABRIELA USA

GABRIELA USA Celebrates First Year Anniversary Launching National IVOW Campaign

Hosts Gabriela Women’s Partylist Nominee, Emmi De Jesus in New York

New York, NY—One year ago, four organizations: BABAE San Francisco, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) New York, Pinay Sa Seattle and Sisters of Gabriela Awaken (SiGAw) Los Angeles came together to establish an overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines—the largest progressive women’s alliance in the Philippines. With the depreciating conditions of the Philippine economy and neoliberal political leadership under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, migrants, largely women, have been exiting the Philippines at an alarming rate. This is the impetus for establishing progressive women’s organizing outside of the Philippines. GABRIELA USA was a landmark formation that reflected the quickly changing conditions of the Filipino people with a stern and militant resistance from Filipino women in the diaspora.

One of the major efforts of GABRIELA USA this year was to launch the national IVOW campaign- a comprehensive campaign that addresses violence against women (VAW) as issues of sex trafficking and prostitution, domestic violence, rape, incest, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and exploitation, limited access to reproductive health care, and violence as a result of political repression. The campaign, which launched in February 2010, urges people to take a stand and commit to ending violence against women. GABRIELA USA asserts that violence against women is becoming varied in its forms, inflicted by numerous perpetrators from intimate partners, family members to limited access to basic needs of the family and state violence. Under this banner, GABRIELA USA invites communities to acknowledge the inequalities in the lives of women and children as violence to then stand against the problems that are slowing women’s advancement.

In New York, FiRE has accumulated more than 700 signatures and photos of people from all nationalities, class backgrounds, genders and sexual orientations that have vowed to end VAW. FiRE members have traveled up and down the Eastern seaboard to educate Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike about VAW. This past year, FiRE has also strengthened their ties in supporting KABALIKAT Domestic Workers Support Network by organizing different cultural projects and a research project about the conditions of Filipino domestics in NYC. FiRE has seen an impressive growth in membership and will be looking towards building a strong and united Filipino sisterhood against imperialism and VAW.

In San Francisco, BABAE celebrated 5 years of political organizing and carried the iVOW campaign with fervor at their event. Along with college workshops, forums and conferences, they have enlisted several organizations including Kappa Psi Epsilon to the campaign and will continue to spread the word at the upcoming SF Walk Against Rape. BABAE members created, produced and performed their first full theater show that addressed issues of domestic violence, a culture of silence and family dynamics in the Filipino community. BABAE has increase 80% since the formation of GABRIELA USA and look towards building stronger ties to the LGBTQ community there.

Pinay sa Seattle launched the IVOW campaign on Februrary 19, 2010 with with a cultural show also titled IVOW that partnered with Cambodian and Japanese progressive organizations on the themes of violence against women. Audience members participated in the IVOW campaign by writing their vow to end violence against women. The show was a success with over 100 people in attendance and requests that the show be done again. For International Women’s Day, Pinay participated and helped plan a city-wide IWD march that was held on March 6 where women and community members marched with IVOW placards that addressed pressing issues affecting women and children.

Sisters of Gabriela, Awaken (SiGAw), the newest of the four GABRIELA USA member organizations, has also taken strides to expand the Filipino women’s movement in Los Angeles. In the past year, they launched their campaign through internally studying the VAW orientation and collecting photo vows of allies and members. They have conducted interviews with a handful of migrant and working class pinays about their migration experiences and VAW to understand the local manifestations of the campaign in their community. SiGAw has steadily held writing workshops, with help from Professors Lucy Burns and Michelle Cruz Skinner, as well as Melissa Roxas. Roxas is a FilAm activist who survived torture and abduction in the Philippines. SiGAw’s writing resulted in a cumulative show called Diwang Pinay. Its theme was focused on Filipinas migrations stories and their experiences of various forms of violence,  highlighting the violence committed against women in the Morong 43, a group of healthcare workers in the Philippines who are illegally arrested and detained.

GABRIELA USA’s next major efforts will be to organize and mobilize women organizations from different backgrounds and communities to attend the Montreal International Women’s Conference (MIWC) to confer about strategies and issues that can usher in a “Global Militant Women’s Movement in the 21st Century.” Also, GABRIELA USA will join the broad movement to pressure the Obama administration for comprehensive immigration reform with legalization for all.

The need for Filipino women’s organizing continues to be necessary with elections drawing near in the Philippines. Pre-election violence has already risen with the Maguindanao Massacre in Mindanao and continuing human rights violations. As the Philippines looks forward to the end of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s presidential term, Filipino women must come together to demand genuine leaders and government representation from the most oppressed classes. In this spirit, GABRIELA USA fully supports the upcoming candidates for the GABRIELA Women’s Partylist, including Emmi de Jesus and urges all migrants abroad with Philippine citizenship to vote for pro-people candidates.

With the economic crisis steadily worsening, GABRIELA USA commits to the ongoing struggles of Filipino women in the US, especially those who are bearing the brunt of unemployment, lack of access to social services, anti-immigrant policy and discrimination. GABRIELA USA looks forward to building solidarity with other women’s struggles and movements in the US and around the world, in hopes of unity between all working women. We vow to fight violence against women in its various forms. One year of women’s organizing in the US has taught us many lessons, one of which is the relentless punishment of capitalism and imperialism, which gives us strength to stand together to to expand and grow to challenge those problems.

Unite to Fight Violence Against Women!
Vote for GABRIELA Women’s Partylist!
End U.S. Imperialism Now!


WIDF assesses global conditions of women workers

By Sue Davis
New York

Published Mar 19, 2010 8:01 PM

The Women’s International Democratic Federation held a panel discussion on “The Economic Crisis and Women’s Access to Work” at the United Nations on March 10 as part of the 15th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women. Dr. Vinie Burrows, permanent representative to the U.N. for the WIDF, asked the panelists to talk about “how the global economic crisis has fallen the hardest on women.” Berta Joubert-Ceci of the National Women’s Fightback Network of WIDF helped organize the event.

Maritzel  González-Quevido holds picture of<br>Cuban Five political prisoners at discussion<br>of women’s status at UN.
Maritzel González-Quevido holds picture of
Cuban Five political prisoners at discussion
of women’s status at UN.
WW photo: John Catalinotto

Ana Violeta Castaneda, WIDF regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted that advancements for women have been limited since Beijing because many repressive governments in the region spend valuable resources on the military, while the vast majority of the people live in poverty.

Valerie Francisco, representing GABRIELA USA, said that employment for women in the Philippines has worsened since the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration took power nine years ago. As a result, Filipino women are migrant workers in 145 countries, most often as low-paid domestic servants with no rights. She invited women to attend a GABRIELA conference in August in Montreal to prepare a women’s platform of action.

Liege Rocha, a member of the steering committee of WIDF in Brazil, reported that the impact of the capitalist crisis was not that heavy in Brazil, though there was some increase in unemployment. While 47 percent of women work (90 percent in service industries), they earn 30 percent less than men. “One of our achievements is establishing the Women’s Department, where women decide on policies for women. We need to take action to end women’s inequality and to be economically independent,” she said.

Pham Hoai Giang, the head of international relations for the Vietnam Women’s Union, prepared a statement read by U.S. activist Merle Ratner. The VWU, established in 1930, is currently fighting trafficking of women and domestic violence and is dealing with the continuing effects of Agent Orange. Giang noted that the impact of the capitalist crisis has not been as severe as in other countries because of government policies devoted to relieving poverty.

Maritzel González-Quevido of the Federation of Cuban Women spoke about how Cuba has been actively implementing key policies adopted at the Beijing conference as part of its overall program to end oppression based on class, gender and race. González reported that women predominate in many job categories — for example, they are 70 percent of health care workers and attorneys.

Invited guest Tiago Vieira, president of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, announced the World Youth Festival that his organization is holding in December 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Articles copyright 1995-2010 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

In Solidarity with Women Worldwide, GABRIELA USA Launches iVOW on the Centennial of International Working Women’s Day

For Immediate Release

Contact: Raquel Redondiez, GABRIELA USA Chair,,

Voices of Women against Violence Against Women (VAW) to Address
Culture of Silence on VAW within the Filipino Community

On March 6, 2010, GABRIELA USA participated in the World March of Women, joining women from over fifty countries to stand for women’s rights. In the Philippines, over 200 women’s organizations are mobilizing with GABRIELA, sacrificing a day’s wages to demand human rights and a pro-people women’s voice in government.  The calls for the World March of Women are resisting poverty, militarization and violence against women. GABRIELA USA, an alliance of Filipino women’s organizations in the United States, marched with women around the world to call for all communities to take a vow to fight violence against women and children.

In the Philippines, poverty and lack of job opportunities has forced 10% of the population to work abroad in temporary jobs with no security, as undocumented workers or as permanent migrants. The vast majority of them are women who are forced to leave the country despite the increasing number of cases of abuse, maltreatment and mysterious deaths of Filipino women migrants in other countries.

In the 9 years of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration, state violence has been a main feature on top of the many problems that plague Filipino women. In February 2010, 43 health care workers, 26 of whom are women including a doctor, nurse, midwife, and two pregnant women, were illegally arrested and continue to be illegally detained and tortured. Most of the health care workers volunteer to serve communities with no access to health care due to the high rates of export of the nation’s migrant health care workers. Women usually carry this responsibility and responded to this need by volunteering their time. Clearly, GMA’s administration takes no note of the rising need for health care and of the women responding to this need.

In the US, the reach of the economic crisis affects not only women’s worsening work conditions, or skyrocketing unemployment and financial instability, but is also seen in the exacerbation of domestic violence. Recent studies show rising stress over economic problems resulting in rising rates in reported domestic violence cases. Simultaneously, the budgets for domestic violence services and shelters are being cut back, most notably in California where statewide funds have been completely withdrawn. The attack on women is three fold, in their workplaces, their homes and even by the state.

To respond to these conditions, GABRIELA USA has launched a campaign called Voices Of Women to Fight Violence Against Women. The campaign mobilizes women and men alike to stand up for women’s rights to jobs, reproductive rights, safety, access to health care and education, and self-determination. In a nationwide educational effort, GABRIELA USA organizations in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles have already initiated community discussions and forums to move communities to sign on. To take a vow to fight violence against women and get involved in this campaign, contact

No to Violence Against Women and Children!
Free the 43 Health Workers in the Philippines!
US Troops Out Now!

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SiGAW in the News: US solon asked to help in release of Morong 43


02/26/2010 | 01:38 AM

Concerned leaders and human rights advocates representing various communities in Los Angeles, California sent a delegation to speak with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s office to seek intervention on the case of the 43 health workers detained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on suspicion of being New People’s Army (NPA) rebels.

In a release, the groups said the delegation met with Senator Boxer’s office to deliver petitions signed by over 500 people and organizations to seek support for the demand to immediately release the health workers, who claim they have been illegally arrested and tortured by the AFP.

The workers, who insisted they were conducting a health training in Morong town, Rizal province, were arrested on February 6 on suspicion of being NPA “explosives trainees.”

Earlier Thursday, the group filed a human rights complaint through their lawyers before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) against the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (See: ‘Morong 43’ files human rights complaint vs AFP)

Representatives of the delegation urged Senator Boxer to continue her commitment to human rights by supporting the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of the 43 and to stop human rights violations in the Philippines.

The delegation included community leaders Reverend David Farley and Reverend Sandra Richards of the United Methodist Church; Melissa Roxas, who has her own harrowing tale of abduction and torture in the Philippines; Chito Quijano of California Nurses’ Association; Kuusela Hilo of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan–USA and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA); as well as representatives from Anakbayan Los Angeles, Habi Arts, Sisters of GABRIELA, and Awaken!

In 2008, following a hearing in the US Senate on the human rights situation in the Philippines convened by Sen. Boxer, the US Congress voted to withhold $2 million of 2009 military aid until the Philippine government complied with certain human rights conditions, according to the groups.

They noted, however, that the Philippine government has not made any significant efforts to improve the human rights situation in their country, citing the November 23, 2009 massacre in Maguindanao, which claimed the lives of at least 58 people.

Rev. Richards, Rev. Farley, and Hilo took part in the United Methodist Church California Pacific Pastoral and Solidarity visit to the Philippines last week, as well as in the delegation that visited the medical personnel currently detained in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal.

Richards said she shared firsthand accounts with Senator Boxer’s office, including the conversations with the families of the detained workers and the forum with CHR chair Leila de Lima.

“Regardless of whether one believes that the 43 health workers are innocent of the charges, it is a fact beyond doubt that their civil and human rights have been violated. They were forced to sit handcuffed and blindfolded for 36 straight hours, were not told with what they were being charged, were not allowed to lie down or sleep, and were fed and toileted by strangers,” Richards said.

Roxas, who accused military agents as the culprits in her abduction and torture while she was with a medical mission in the Philippines in May last year, meanwhile said no human being should have to be detained and tortured for filling in the people’s need for medical assistance in the absence of government efforts.

“The situation is critical. Every day that the 43 health workers are not released, it is one more day they have to endure of pain, fear, and torture,” Roxas stated.—JV, GMANews.TV

FilAms ask Obama to help free ‘Morong 43’ First Posted 11:38:00 02/16/2010 Filed Under: Unrest and Conflicts and War, Crime, rebellion, Justice & Rights, Americas – United States

LOS ANGELES, California, United States—Filipino-American activists wrote US President Barack Obama an open letter asking that the so-called Morong 43, or the health workers who were arrested in Morong February 6 and detained thereafter, be released.

Last week, the delegation of FilAms, including Melissa Roxas, who was also abducted in the Philippines last year, also held a mid-day protest outside the Philippine consulate here to demand the immediate release of the 43, said Bayan-USA vice chair Kuusela Hilo said in a statement.

“We call on the international community to condemn this gross violation of human rights and hold Arroyo accountable for her administration’s gruesome human rights atrocities. We demand that all taxpayer dollars budgeted for US military aid supporting the Philippine military be withdrawn immediately,” said Chito Quijano with the International League of Peoples’ Struggle.

The FilAms, together with Kaparatan chairperson Marie Hilao Enriquez, met with Consul General Mary Jo Aragon to deliver open letters addressed to Obama, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and other elected officials demanding the release of the Morong 43.

The protesters included members of AnakBayan LA, and Habi Arts of Bayan USA, SiGAw! of Gabriela USA, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, the United Methodist Church, the California Nurses Association, and the Filipino Migrants Center

Terrie Cervas, Vice Chair of Gabriela USA and member of SiGAw said, “We condemn the illegal arrest…(and the denial) of basic rights like access to legal counsel and food.”

There is an ongoing online petition for the Morong 43.

Fil-Am Women Call On Philippine Military to Stop the Torture and Harrassment of Mothers and Pregnant Women

Health Care Workers Should Be Released To Their Families And Communities Who Rely On Them For Health Care Given The Government’s Neglect Of This Basic Need

Contact: Valerie Francisco, Vice Chair, GABRIELA USA,

Fililpino women member organizations of GABRIELA USA across the United States demand the release of the 43 illegally detained healthcare workers. Of the 43 healthcare workers, 26 are women including a woman doctor and midwife, and two are pregnant. Most of the healthcare workers are peasant women from various poor communities that were taking classes on first aid and basic healthcare,  however, the Philippine military justifies the illegal arrest, detainment, and torture by claiming that they are members of the New People’s Army.

For a great majority of poor women and children in the provinces as well as urban poor areas, community healthcare workers provide the only access to basic healthcare, education, and prevention because it is not being provided by the government. The ratio of doctor to patient in the Philippines is pegged by the Department of Health at 1:30,000.

These healthcare workers should be praised and supported for their work as healthcare workers for their local communities.  Instead, they have been illegally detained and maltreated with forms of torture and sexual harassment. During their detainment, they were also denied access to food and bathroom privileges, and subject to various indignities.   They were also blindfolded and handcuffed for days on end.  The military has even defied the Philippine Supreme Court’s writ of habeas corpus order for them to present the 43 community health workers.

“While so many healthcare nurses and doctors have left for greener pastures to the United States and other countries, these community healthcare workers have chosen to stay and serve the poor. Many of them are mothers who have volunteered their time out of their busy schedules from working on their farms and taking care of their children to serve their communities with basic healthcare. They should not be criminalized. The real terrorism that has plagued our country is a broken, fascist government that has denied basic necessities like healthcare to the majority of the people.” stated Raquel Redondiez, chairperson of GABRIELA USA, chapter of GABRIELA Philippines.

GABRIELA USA, a national alliance of progressive Filipina women organizations, stands in solidarity with the members of 43 illegally detained healthcare workers and their families. GABRIELA-USA is an overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines, with Babae in San Francisco, Pinay Sa Seattle in Seattle, WA, SiGAw in Los Angeles, CA, and Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment in NYC.





San Francisco: A Pinay Symposium on Violence Against Women

Kappa Psi Epsilon and Babae-GABRIELA USA present…

A Pinay Symposium
Kombating Violence Against Pinays:
Producing Action

A day of workshops, performances, and action as we fight to end violence against women in the U.S., Philippines, and around the world


Saturday, Feb 20, 2010
San Francisco State University – Rosa Parks A-C in the Cesar Chavez Building

1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

this event is FREE with breakfast and lunch provided!

*Childcare available upon request. Please RSVP to*

For more information, contact Jenely – (916) 616-1363 or email