by Monette Rivera, ABS-CBN News
NEW YORK CITY — A private dinner held by Fil-Am political activist Vicky Garchitorena aimed to shed light on the situation in the Philippines under the Duterte administration, and to urge kababayans to take action.
Garchitorena, a member of the liberal political party of the Philippines (LP), and former President of the Ayala Foundation, gathered with about thirty friends and colleagues at a private dinner.
In the private event, Garchitorena updated the crowd on the ongoing situation in the Philippines under the presidency of Rodrigo Roa Duterte — tackling issues on the killings, drugs, the case of Senator Leila de Lima, and Vice President Leni Robredo.
“My own personal view is that [Duterte] is the worst we’ve ever had, because of the killings,” said Garchitorena. “His own character, his own persona is wrong for the country, is wrong for a leader whom our children will kind of look up to. I’m very, very upset, and I know many, many people are.”
She also touched on the impeachment case filed against President Duterte on Thursday.
“The fact that they filed the complaint Thursday in the PH, Congress cannot do anything about it, because they’re already at recess. And they will only come back in May — in the meantime, we have one and half months.
“The whole world can talk about the impeachment case without any problem… so I think this will be a test. I don’t know the charges were, but knowing Trillanes, he does his homework pretty well.”
A self-proclaimed political activist and a supporter of former President Benigno Aquino III’s Daang Matuwid machinery, Vicky urged the community to find and create ways to help improve the situation in the homeland.
“Every time she comes to New York to visit, she shares so much of her insight and her wisdom of what’s going on in the Philippines,” said lawyer Noel Vales. “And more and more importantly, ways which we New Yorkers can help. So it’s exciting to share those thoughts with the people that are here.
The gathering has encouraged attendees to be more informed and be politically engaged.
“People need to be aware of what’s going on in our governments, and it’s time that we speak out and express where we approve and where we disapprove on what’s going on. That’s what democracy is about,” said Vales.
Attendees raised funds to help efforts back home, by purchasing the 1986 People Power Revolution commemorative coin for $20 each.