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History of the Philippine Jury Campaign International

Overseas Filipino Workers Migration derives from the premise of push and pull theory. People move because of social, political and economic forces in the place of origin impelled to do so, or because they are attracted to places of destination by one or more social and economic factors. Pilipinos are not exemption. In 1972, hundreds of Pilipinos fled the country from political persecutions. Others left because they could not live the uncertainty of a repressive government under Martial Law. In 1974, the Philippines embarked on its labor export program as a means of stopgap measure to ease the country's high unemployment and foreign exchange problems. Thereby giving birth to the Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFW). Amidst the prospect of prolonged separation, emotional and psychological pressures, risk of family breakdown or widespread abuses and exploitative working conditions Pilipinos venture into the overseas employment if only to escape poverty and unemployment. The "Modern Day Heroes" regardless of consequences continue to migrate to the Middle East, Hongkong, Singapore, Japan, USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and as far as Africa offering themselves as a living sacrifice for the betterment of their families and the country as a whole. The emergence of 11M OFWs is a phenomenon that brings not ony the $16B foreign remittance to the rescue of the Philippine economy but importantly giving rise to the dawn of New Pilipinos - New Era - politically concern, personally involve and wanted to be heard.

Birth of Philippine Jury Campaign The plight of Pilipinos to foreign countries is a major concern of the silent majority. Millions had shed tears leaving their families and their love ones if only to feed them, clothe them, send the children to school and afford them the basic necessities in life. Tens of thousands of parents left their children, sometimes few months old, with a prospect of better future only to return frustrated and displaced in the society. After years of being away and grown old, Pilipino expats returned home awed with the worsening poverty, high unemployment, big time issues of corruption, political killing, maladministration, injustices, and never ending litany of socio-economic and political mishaps. Moreover, in spite of the increasing volume of overseas workers and their monetary contributions, the country has not significantly moved forward in terms of its basic services. 15M Pilipinos are extremely marginalized that they live on or under P50.00 a day. (USD1.00 a day) The factors behind these deplorable scenarios in the Philippines are not superficial or artificial rather than man made. They are not accidents by nature but deliberate and willful actions committed by unscrupulous powerful and untouchable elite in the government and in the society. These variables are nothing but crimes. Crimes committed with impunity. Crimes that plug down the economy, tampered the right governance, breed high stake corruptors and criminals, drive away foreign investors and discredit the integrity of the government. Records and international reports show crimes had been committed yet perpetuators have never been punished. Hence, the failure of an effective administration of justice or a weak judiciary created the commission of crime as an industry or as a way of livelihood. In June., 2004, after years of contemplating for a free, strong and independent Philippine judiciary, the Founder & Chairman Tim Sapurco initiated the first step of hand picking his closest friends to join him in forming a signature campaign empowering the Pilipino people in the administration of justice thru the impartial Trial by Jury. Invitations to prospective campaigners were extended on week ends or on convenient time (mostly evenings) or as time required. Subsequently, meetings were held in houses, work places and fast food halls. On Jan. 11, 2005, the first public meeting took place at the Great Commission Ministry in Shepherds Bush, London. The Chairman and Bro. Abel Canlas took turn in explaining to the congregation the advantages of a Jury system to a one-man judge. The congregation prayed for the success of the movement and the first signature campaign was launched with at least 70 signatories. Philippine Jury Campaign Launched After months of meetings, jury advocates headed by Ms Joana Canete decisively organized the launching of the Philippine Jury Campaign on 05th of November 2005 at Sion Manning School for Girls, Ladbroke Grove , London. The occasion was attended by at least 300 people coming from different walks of life and from different nationalities. Speeches were rendered not only by Pilipinos but also by non-Pilipinos who believed in the worthiness of the campaign and who sympathized with Pilipinos. The event was aired on the The Filipino Channel Television (TFC Balitang Europe) worldwide and featured on the Bulletin Today (a national newspaper in Manila) Manila and Cebu Launching On 10th January 2006, the Philippine Jury Campaign was launched at Bayview Plaza, Manila with Fr. Jureck Fernandez, who stayed in London before leaving for Manila, and Mr. Miguel Rellente spearheading the campaign. It was a Press Conference attended by 3 television channel reporters /crews and newspaper reporters. Atty. Maturana- of Quezon City delivered his speech emphasizing the defects/deficiencies in our judiciary. During the launching, the London based Jury Campaign group was on standby at 4:00 o'clock in the morning. An improvised telephone communication facilities enabled the Chairman to deliver the campaign message to the occasion. In attendance were guests and student leaders coming from different universities. On 20th January 2006, the Philippine Jury Campaign was launched in Cebu City at Sacred Heart Academy. The event was organized by Ms Lorna Woods with Fr. Jureck Fernandez and Mr. Miguel Rellente in attendance after holding the Press Conference in Manila. The Cebu launching was featured on The Bulletin Today and the The Star (Cebu City). Legaspi City Launching The launching for the City of Legazpi was planned after the successful events in Manila and Cebu City. Ms Ana Maravilla was charged of the organizing committee to introduce the Philippine Jury campaign in Bicol Region. Inspite of serious communication problems, the launching took place in July 2006. Mr. Jessie Caminade of London who was in Cebu that time proceeded to Legazpi City to join and witness the occasion. The event was held in Astrodome and attended by students and civic leaders. Overseas The Philippine Jury Campaign was introduced to several Pilipino organizations in Canada, Italy, Israel, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Malta, Germany, Canada, Hongkong and the United States of America. The Campaign The Philippine Jury Campaign like any other reform organizations is a struggle. Pilipinos are loving and caring people - true characters which are the envy of the world. Yet inspite of these distinct traits, Pilipinos mindset and attitude towards reforms suffered unimaginable setback of doubts and suspicions. For generations, the Pilipino people was lured to believe by countless politicians, past and present, of their promises for change and reforms for a better Philippines. Promises which turned in vain. This resulted in apathy by the Pilipinos to any political undertakings either initiated by civilian populace worst by political group. Activities which have to deal with government or politicians are "jokes, comedia or showbiz". Politics becomes a nightmare no one wishes to be a part of. Tired of unceasing issues of corruption and maladministration, the attitude of "I don't care" and "nothing can be done" become the impression if not the norms of the ordinary Pilipinos towards a reform group and the government as a whole. The worsening economic deprivation departs the whole Pilipinos from other nationalistic sense of values and responsibilities which resulted to being apolitical. Having isolated themselves from government issues, the Pilipinos focused themselves to their families and livelihood. These predicaments posed as major problems of the campaign. However, jury advocates and campaigners were resolve and resolute to the idea that a Trial by Jury is a step towards a better Philippines and that no man is above the law. The group composed of volunteer ordinary Pilipinos - housekeepers, nannies, chefs, waiters/waitress, cleaners, office workers, hospital staff and several small business leaders - are committed and determined to make a difference. Individuals committed to empower the people in the administration of justice thru the creation of the Philippine Jury System. Campaigns were conducted on the streets, buses, trains, houses, coffee shops, fast food chains, restaurants, shopping centres, function halls, churches, parks and other places where Pilipinos can be met. Campaigners attended community meetings, organizational events, social gatherings, church services, embassy meetings, and to the extent of house visits to reach out the community. Information drive and awareness campaign to people who have lost trust to the politicians and government is a heavy burden among the campaigners. Yet persistent campaign of the benefits of the Jury system gave them a new hope to see a reform republic. The Philippine Jury Campaign is faced with difficulties ranging from logistics, manpower, and other facilities required to run a campaign. Inspite of these hardships the campaign is continuously increasing from a handful of volunteers to hundreds of supporters. The electronic campaign which is headed by Ms Amy Balliao is reaching out the Pilipinos worldwide. It is not a question of if but when the Pilipinos, as a sovereign people, sooner will claim the right to a Trial by Jury. Companies House Registration Organizations in the United Kingdom must be duly registered with the Companies House to secure a legal personality. After 3 years of campaign, the Philippine Jury Campaign International(UK) was able to register with the Companies House under registration number 07353291. To all campaigners & supporters, This is just the glimpse of the history of Philippine Jury Campaign. Detailed events of the campaign, the struggle, hardships and difficulties for the past 7 years deserve a separate page. What matters now is we continue to stride towards the end of what we started. For we know, we have a story to tell - the making of a legacy to the coming generations.