April 16- In partnership with RDC-NL/KADUAMI, youth leaders in Baguio and Ilocos invited Jun Lozada, the NBN-ZTE Broadband deal star witness, to a caucus regarding the continuing call for truth and accountability. The gathering was attended by more than 100 youths coming from the different schools, colleges and universities in Baguio City and Ilocos, as well as from Baguio’s urban poor communities.
Lozada said that corruption in the Philippines is rooted in the system that it becomes an accepted reality. “Unfortunately, it is the poor people who are greatly affected by it,” he adds. Youth Act Now!, a national youth alliance, launched “Sako-Sakong Katotohanan, ” a quilt signature campaign using empty rice sacks that will reach out to other youths and students from the two regions of the Cordillera and Ilocos. Mr. Jun Lozada led the signing before passing it to the youths who were present in the gathering.
“Our campaign is based on Mr. Lozada’s expose about the corruption charges in the NBN-ZTE deal vis-a-vis the rice crisis that this country is experiencing. If these billions of pesos were instead given as subsidy to our farmers and the rice industry, it would have been a different story,” Louie Santos of Youth Act Now!-Ilocos said. One of the major parts of the caucus is the planning on how to sustain the campaign. Youth and student leaders suggested some activities that will become part of the regional campaign of the alliance.
“There is still hope for you, and I salute each of you for doing something for social change,” said Lozada as he addressed the youths in the caucus. Quoting a famous writer, Lozada said, “each generation writes its own history, ” adding that the youths play a very important role in making history in order for them to have a brighter future. #