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1SAMBAYAN movement aims to work for competent, trustworthy PH election ’22

Special to Bayanihan News by FELIX ORCULLO – There is an organisation recently formed in the Philippines that is gaining momentum inside and outside the country.  1Sambayan – a name synonymous to unity and patriotism – is a broad alliance of patriotic and democracy-loving Filipinos.  Its mission is to help ensure that a competent and trustworthy government is elected in the May 2022 Philippine national elections. 

It is headed by a group of prominent and respected leaders such as  Antonio Carpio (Supreme Court Justice ret), Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC (De La Salle), Albert del Rosario (fmr Ambassador), Neri Colmenares (fmr congressman), Conchita Carpio-Morales (fmr Ombudsman) , Fr. Albert Alejo SJ (Ateneo), Heidi Mendoza (fmr COA Commissioner), Rommel Ong (Admiral ret.), Atty Howie M Calleja and many more.

They aim to have a strong united opposition to the incumbent Duterte government by attracting qualified candidates for President, Vice-President and twelve senators on a single ticket.

1Sambayan Australia – the organisation’s first overseas chapter – was launched in the afternoon of 29th May 2022 at the Mt. Druitt Hub, Ayers Grove, Mt. Druitt in the Western fringe of Sydney Australia.  Despite the late autumn cold weather, it was a comfortable, warm and spacious venue for the occasion set in the Blacktown Municipality where the biggest congregation of Filipinos in the state of NSW Australia live. 

More than fifty Filipino-Australians from all over the state of NSW attended the launch – notably officers and members of the two peak community council bodies, Filipinos in all walks of life representing many professions (solicitors, a medical doctor, engineers, and teachers as well as retirees) in different age groups from late 20’s to 70’s – gave their time and effort to watch and listen to two speakers in the comfort of Zoom beamed from Manila. 

The speakers were Former Ambassador Albert del Rosario and  Atty. Howie Calleja – a teaching professor of law and initiator of the group, both of whom were introduced to the Sydney audience by the MC- Delia Del  Rosario and Dr. Veth Guevarra. The speakers were warmly greeted with long applauses from the audience.  A Q&A session followed the official launch. 

The official convenor/coordinator of 1Sambayan Australia, Ms. Delia Del Rosario (holding the microphone in the second picture), commended everyone for stepping up in wanting to see change in the Philippines. “The broad unity of democratic forces under 1Sambayan signifies that we can no longer put up with Duterte’s fascist regime and that he and his minions must go”, Delia said.   

She also summoned the audience to further the cause of 1Sambayan in Australia by going back to their respective communities in spearheading the campaign to “educate and unify the Filipino-Australian communities in preventing a return of an authoritarian government in the May 2022 national elections.” 

“We can help install good governance, enshrine respect for human rights, assert our sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, and bring back honesty in the government,” Ms. Del Rosario added. 

Buoyed by the success of the launch and the speed in the rise of its members in the Philippines and in NSW, the organisers of 1Sambayan Australia are planning to replicate the event in their respective suburbs in the months to come.