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Akbayan Party’s Statement on the First Year of the Aquino Government

The country just marked the first year of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s administration, a government put into power by the Filipino’s hope for a better future, an administration that the people hoped would be radically different from the despotic nine-year reign of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The people’s expectation for this new administration to perform is naturally high, since the previous government systematically stripped us of our political, civil, and economic rights, that horrid experience taught us to value democratic entitlements all the more. It also reminded us how to hope, leading us to recover our collective desire for change.

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CALIFORNIA, United States—By now, Shirley Sherrod’s fascinating story is well known.

She’s the African American federal official in Georgia who was vilified as a racist for a video clip in which she appeared to talk about discriminating against a white farmer.

But she turned out to be the exact opposite of how she was portrayed.

For the full video of her speech showed her to be not just a courageous and committed activist, but also someone with enough humility to see the limitations of some of her beliefs—which helped her become an even more compassionate advocate for those in need.

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