• An evening with Lea Salonga • Get Etta outta CHR: Bayan USA • UniPro hosts youth summit June 2-4

Photo: Broadwayworld.com

Lea Salonga will be back at Café Carlyle in a three-week return engagement June 7 to 25. Best known for her Tony Award winning role in “Miss Saigon,” Lea made her Café Carlyle debut last season.

In “Lea Salonga: New York in June,” she will take her audience on a musical tour of her multi-faceted career, from Filipino pop star to Broadway and West End dynamo to touring concert artist. She will share personal anecdotes in an evening that combines melodies ranging from Tagalog songs to American standards and some little known songs she has learned along her journey. She will be supported by a quartet led by her musical director and pianist Larry Yurman. The evening will be directed by Daniel Kutner.

Lea has recently been thrust into the political spotlight for her views in support of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill, a proposal that would allow the Philippine government to provide contraceptives, among other services, to manage the runaway population growth. The Catholic Church is split, but many are strongly against the bill.

“My stand is that I am for it. I’ve been consistently supporting it,” Lea has said on many occasions. She wouldn’t mind, she said, being a spokesman for the issue of reproductive health.

“Lea Salonga: New York in June” will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:45 p.m. with an additional show on Saturday at 10:45 p.m. For additional information visit thecarlyle.com.
Bayan USA expressed concern over the appointment of Etta Rosales as chair of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to succeed Leila de Lima, who was recently appointed secretary of justice by President Benigno Aquino.

Melissa Roxas

The statement was issued by the New York-based progressive alliance on the second anniversary of the abduction and torture of FilAm human rights advocate Melissa Roxas allegedly by elements of the armed forces. Melissa, who was engaged in community organizing in La Paz, Tarlac when she was reportedly abducted, has filed charges against the government of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the military.

On July 2009, Melissa returned to the Philippines to testify before the CHR on the details of her ordeal, under the protection of then-chair de Lima.

Bayan USA said Aquino’s appointment of Rosales to replace de Lima “casts a questionable light on the integrity of the office to be objective and credible in handling cases of regular abuses committed against legal activists and dissidents associated with the aboveground Philippine Left.” The group further denounced Rosales as a “rabid red-baiter.”

The statement explained the group’s distrust of Rosales:

“As a former House Representative of the party-list Akbayan, Rosales participated in McCarthyist tactics to blur the distinct lines between the unarmed, aboveground left and the armed underground left, resulting in the wholesale targeting of legal civilian activists in the bloody counter-insurgency campaign of the Arroyo government known as Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL). In line with this, even a U.S. citizen such as Melissa, who was volunteering for a medical mission for a poor community, was not exempt from being subjected to six days of heavy torture by her captors who attempted to force her to admit that she was a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), which she refused to do.”

Bayan USA likewise assailed the Aquino government for “coddling known human rights abusers in the Arroyo administration.”
On June 2-4, the Pilipino American Unity for Progress –- or UniPro — will host the first annual Multinational Forum for Pilipino Young Adults, Students and Youth, also known as the “UniPro Summit.” The UniPro Summit invites delegates from ages 18 to 35 to have honest dialogues pertaining to local, regional and global issues relating to Pilipino communities.

“Though the Pilipino community may be separated geographically, each sub-community faces similar issues. Therefore, the Summit will create an opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and organize a global network promoting international Pilipino Youth collaborations,” the group said in a statement.

The event will be held at St. John’s University’s Manhattan campus. For additional details, visit www.unipronow.org

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