The Philippines Solidarity Task Force of the California-Nevada Annual Conference has sent a seven-member delegation to the Philippines to participate in the Philippine International Observers' Mission 2010 (PIOM 2010), May 5-17.
The Task Force, working in partnership with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and the United Methodist Church in the Philippines, and dealing specifically with the issues of human rights violations and extra-judicial killings, has responded to the call of providing a ministry of presence to help in the realization of the objectives of the PIOM:
· To bring to the attention of the International community the extent of electoral fraud and violence that will occur in the Philippines' synchronized national and local elections of May 2010, despite the automated election system
· To muster International pressure on the Macapagal-Arroyo government against committing fraud and violence, especially against its most vocal opponents
· To support the people's efforts to protect their votes
· To contextualize the electoral fraud and violence within the continuing human rights violations and affront to democracy being perpetrated by the Macapagal-Arroyo government
The members of the delegation are: Laddie Perez-Galang, chairperson of the Western Jurisdiction Coordinating Committee of Asian Americans; Jean Reynolds, chairperson of the Methodist Federation for Social Action of the California-Nevada Annual Conference; Fran Smith, member of MFSA Cal-Nev; the Rev. Adrionne Beasley, pastor of Elmhurst United Methodist Church in Oakland; Lindsey Kerr, GBGM Missionary Intern and member of Epworth UMC in Berkeley; Doni Galang, member of Lake Park UMC in Oakland; and the Rev. Fel Cao, pastor of Valley Faith UMC in Sunnyvale and head of the delegation.
The Task Force has sent a delegation for the past three consecutive years (2007-2009), with two of the trips being headed by Bishops Beverly J. Shamana and Warner H. Brown, Jr.