The lady with a big SMILE: 2010 AKBAYAN Party list nominee

AKBAYAN Party list nominee

AKBAYAN Party-List Nominee : Ellene Sana – Correcting Injustice, Promoting Human and Migrant Rights Here and Abroad.

Ellene Sana, the curly haired small lady with the big smile is an in and out human rights and migrants’ rights advocate. The current Executive Director of the Center for Migrants’ Advocacy-Philippines (CMA), an independent policy advocacy group working on issues of migrant Filipinos through research, education and direct assistance, Ellene is known for being an authority on migrant-related issues often invited as a resource person in forums, governmental and otherwise, both here and abroad. From providing direct assistance to organizing activities to promote the rights of migrant Filipinos, her name has become synonymous with migrants’ advocacy.

She is also acknowledged as a strong advocate of women ‘s issues. Together with women migrant workers, they seek the comprehensive protection of all women migrants from abuse and violence. A licensed Civil Engineer, she decided to leave her comfort zone and work full time to promote and advance the rights of the deprived and underprivileged, something which is close to her heart, being a political detainee herself in Mindanao in 1991.

Then again, Ellene’s advocacy is not limited to her fellow kababayans but also with other marginalized citizens as well. In 1997, Ellene was a founding member and coordinator of the Philippine Solidarity for East Timor and Indonesia (Phil-Seti), then the most active and relevant solidarity group based here in the Philippines which actively campaigned for the democratization of Indonesia under Suharto, and the independence of East Timor. In 1999, she was a member of an International Election Observer Team which monitored the United Nations-sponsored Referendum of East Timor and currently, an active member of the Free Burma Coalition (FBC).

Ellene takes her international solidarity and human rights work so seriously that she became re-acquainted with incarceration. In 1996, she was detained by the Malaysian authorities together with 48 other foreign advocates when they participated in an Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor held in Kuala Lumpur. She was again detained in 1998 this time in Burma by the ruling Military junta because of her pro-democracy activities in support of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Among the most momentous of Ellene’s crusades was the campaign that cemented the participation of Overseas Filipino Workers in our political process. With the help of the CMA and AKBAYAN, the Overseas Absentee Voting Law was passed in 2004, granting voting rights to overseas Filipinos.

However, not everything about the indefatigable Ellene is work. To many young advocates, Ellene is a sort of a “nanay-nanayan”, a nurturing and “cool “mentor and a good friend. She loves music and in a not so busy day, you’ll find her in the company of friends and colleagues singing and dancing to the beat of good-old reggae music.

With her entry in the 2010 partylist elections as one of AKBAYAN’s nominees, Ellene will surely be a strong voice of Filipino migrants in Congress.

First day of the 2010 OAV in Riyadh

The Official Residence of the Philippine Ambassador in Saudi Arabia (Bulletin Boards “Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters”)

Today,  April 10, 2010  registered  Filipino absentee voters  comprised of Overseas Filipino Workers and  Migrant  Filipinos around the world will start casting  their votes  to choose new  Philippine national leaders, the President, Vice President and 12 Senators and 1 Party List. There are 93 Philippine embassies and consulates general around the globe that includes four designated centers in Saudi Arabia.

As a responsible citizen of the Republic of the Philippines and an absentee voter, it is my obligation to vote and I see to it that I will cast my vote in the first day of the voting period which ends on 10 of  May 2010.

CLOAV

I and my long time friend and Filipino Community leader Alex Veloso Bello were among the first absentee voters to arrive in the Philippine Embassy.  We noticed  that around 7:30 am  Philippine Embassy staff were busy preparing the elections paraphernalia’s  in the basement  of the Embassy where the voting process will takes place for  3rd Overseas Absentee Voting in Riyadh.  

Basement (The Polling Center)

Bulletin boards where the names are posted can be found at the Basketball Court before you enter the polling areas in the basement.  As usual, there were only handful absentee voters who came early in the first day of voting period.

At exactly 8:00 am, all precincts A to Z were already manned by the members of the Board of Election Inspectors.  We were the ones who were recognized as the first to vote.

We were able to meet the Cultural Officer Attache Rosario Malicse  and   Vice Consul Atty. Rousell Reyes , in charge of the 2010 Overseas Absentee Voting at the Philippine Embassy before leaving the Embassy compound.

Alex Veloso Bello at Precinct “B”

There are 52,887 registered voters in Riyadh, 37,063 in Jeddah, 21,537 in Alkhobar and more than 1,000 in Buraidah. There are four designated voting centers in Saudi Arabia, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Consulate General in Jeddah, the International Philippine School in Alkhobar (IPSA) and the Philippine International School in Buraidah.

The first day of the voting period was peaceful and in order. We are hoping that in the next few days absentee voters will troop down to the 4 designated voting centers to cast their votes.  

The Republic of the Philippines Official Seal at the Main Entrance of the Philippine Embassy

 The Philippine embassy officials are requesting those registered  absentee voters during the last 2003, 2006 and 2009 registration to verify their names first in the Certified List of Overseas Absentee Voters (CLOAV), which can be accessed either on the Commission on Elections website (http://www.comelec.gov.ph) or the embassy site: http://www.philembassy-riyadh.org.   You can also access the CLOAV in this blog by clicking this link OAV Philippine Embassy Advisory.   

Those  names  found in the list are required to present either their valid passport or iqama, or any valid identification documents such as OWWA, SSS, Pag-IBIG identification cards or a driver’s license.

 On the next succeeding days, Saturdays to Wednesdays, voting opens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Riyadh. On Thursdays and Friday, voting is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Alkhobar, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Saturdays to Wednesdays and Thursdays and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Alkhobar and Buraidah.

In Jeddah, voting is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all days.

On the last day, May 10, voting starts at 8 a.m. in Riyadh, Alkhobar and Buraidah, and 10 a.m. in Jeddah. Voting stops at all centers in the Kingdom at 1 p.m., which coincides with the 6 p.m. end of voting time in the Philippines. – end -

My choice is not your choice

Tomorrow, April 10, 2010 is the first day of Overseas Absentee Voting that will end on May 10, 2010. 

Below are my  choices  whom I feel worthy of my vote.

President: Noynoy Aquino

Vice President: Manuel Roxas

Senators:

1)      Toots Ople

2)      Bebot Bello

3)      Martin Bautista

4)      Ruffy Biazon

5)      Alex Lacson

6)      Lim

7)      Sonia Roco

8)      Liza Hontiveros Baraquel

9)      Enrile

10)   Adel Tamano

11)   Franklin Drilon

12)   Jinggoy Estrada

My Choice

Your choice is not my choice, no one could dictate you to whom you will vote. Just do the right thing according  to what your heart says.  Voting  is sacred, voting is the essential elements of freedom, it is a duty,  and therefore  don’t waste your  right to be heard;  that’s what democracy is all about. – Bong Amora

April 10 to May 10 : Boto Mo Pahalagahan Mo

On April 10, 2010, registered Filipino Absentee voters will head to the polls to vote.  It is a month period from April 10 to May 10, 2010. 

 “Ang tagumpay ng Overseas Absentee Voting ay nakasalalay sa pakikilahok ng bawat isa sa atin.  Let us troop down to the polling station/precinct or to the designated areas abroad where you can make use the power of the overseas vote. 

Ang Boto mo, Pahalagahan mo!

Voting is one of the most important rights and responsibilities we have as  Filipino.  Let us exercise this right of suffrage that we owe to our beloved motherland. Our participation is indeed an important part of  the Philippine electoral process.

Huwag po nating hayaan na bawiin sa atin ang ipinagkaloob na karapatang ipinaglaban natin ng mahigit labing-anim na taon.   

WE  urge our fellow absentee voters  to do your part,  Ipaabot ang nagkakaisang tinig! Gamitin ang karapatang marinig!  Ang Boto mo, Pahalagahan mo!  

GO OUT and VOTE  this coming April 10 to May 10, 2010.     

pragmatically witty

The Trophy

I just read a realistic response out of 1,387 comments on issue about  WAR in the recent Yahoo news online regarding  future tank defense system.  I found it pragmatically witty.

read>>> Futuristic tank defense system unveiled

I think it is just a waste of time. Some country will come out with something to counter this. It is like a merry go round, it keeps going around in cycles. Why don’t they come out with something that prolong human lives rather than finding more ways to kill. Such a waste on funds and human resources. Suggest, we fire all the nukes and exterminate humans from the earth. Then we don’t need to kill anymore. – Confucius