June 16, 2015 @ 3:34 am
Ep. 198 “USP4GG Global Protest Against China’s Claims in the West Philippine (South China) Sea” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Marlon Molinos and Alan Grossman) first aired 8/29/14 and re-broadcast 6/12/15 (with assistance of Robert Wang).
On July 24, 2014, Filipinos around the world were called to stage protests in front of China Embassies and other peaceful rallies to support the Philippine government’s position against China’s aggressive territorial and maritime claims in the West Philippine (South China Sea). Today, in commemoration of Philippine Independence Day, June 12, 2015 U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) are once again organizing rallies in Guam and Saipan to bring attention to this sovereignty struggle and implications for the region. The Guam protest is scheduled for 11:00-1:30 p.m. at the Tamuning Mayor’s Community Park; in Saipan, from 10:00-1:00 p.m beginning at the Kilili Pavilion, Susupe.
The U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG) has been at the forefront of global organizing among Filipinos in the diaspora to protest China’s ‘bullying’. Its mission is to promote good governance in the Philippines (the 12th most populated country in the world with a population of 100 million) by seeking ways to increase the positive political influence of the estimated ten million Filipinos living and working abroad. It has supported multilateral diplomatic approaches to resolving this maritime and territorial conflict and now supports the Philippines’ petition to a United Nations endorsed tribunal seeking a durable solution to this dispute.
This episode features interviews with three representatives of the USP4GG who have led the global viral campaign to put pressure on China to back down: Loida Nicolas Lewis, Ted Laguatan, and Dr. Celia Lamkin. All three Filipino-Americans were active in the campaign to elect Benigno Aquino III as President of the Philippines and were invited guests at the state dinner given for President Barack Obama on his visit to Manila in April 2014 to sign the Enhanced Defense Cooperative Agreement (EDCA) to support the US Pacific Pivot. The U.S. has been vague about whether this mutual defense treaty with the Philippines covers the islands in dispute, whereas it has repeatedly said the East China Sea islands fall under its security treaty with Japan.
Loida Nicolas Lewis is the national chair of USP4GG based in New York City. She is a lawyer, global entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader. This interview includes an audio clip of her Call to Action for Filipinos to participate in the global protest against China aggression on July 8, 2014. She led the July 24 protest in New York City in front of the United Nations.
Ted Laguatan is the national co-founder, legal counsel and spokesperson of USP4GG. Together with Nicolas Lewis and another activist lawyer Rodel Rodis, USP4GG national president, Laguatan founded the Global Diaspora Council (GFDC) and helped Filipinos in Europe to establish the European Network of Filipinos (ENFID), the only umbrella organization of Filipinos in Europe. Laguatan heads an ethics based law firm in the San Francisco Bay area where he practices human rights law. He is also a regular columnist for various publications including the Internet edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which has a readership of millions. He organized the July 24 protest in San Francisco.
Dr. Celia Lamkin is chairperson of the Marianas Chapter of USP4GG. She is a retired physician and health and human rights advocate who has lived in Saipan for 20 years. She organized the June 12, 2015 protests in Saipan and Guam, as well as previous actions in the Marianas related to this cause.
Music selection: Change the World by Filipinos United, a collaboration of Filipino artists calling for peace, unity and awareness in the face of international military aggression against the Philippines over the West Philippine (South China) Sea.