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Niki Hayudini: The Persistent Campaigner Against Poverty Passed Away

Last November 13, the Philippines House of Representatives was bombed. Three people were initially killed: a lawmaker, a driver and a congressional staff. The fourth fatality, who died of complications at around 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday turned out to be a GCAP-Philippines member.

He was Julasiri "Niki" Hayudini, 49, Vice President of the Assalam Bangsamoro People's Association, which is a people's organization that is part of the GCAP-Philippines coalition. Newspaper reports identified him as an aide of Representative Wahab Akbar who was also killed in the blast. What the reports did not say were many:

That he started working in Congress only this year after Rep. Akbar, a close friend of his, was elected; That he had been working as an anti-poverty advocate under Assalam and GCAP; That his decision to be part of the congressional staff is part of his dedication to do his utmost to make a real difference in his hometown of Basilan; Basilan, a stronghold of the Islamic separatist Group Abu Sayyaf, is an island province ravaged by a long, drawn out war, wracked by lawlessness and saddled by poverty. It is considered the poorest province in the Philippines.

That he was a persistent campaigner; That the GCAP Philippines coalition will always remember him as an active member and a cheerful and reliable friend.

That he was a tireless adviser to the GCAP Youth campaigners who always told them: "The country needs youth like you who have commitment and the courage to stand up for the poor".

That his death was not simply a loss for a congressional team, but also a loss for the campaign against poverty in the Philippines, as well as for the global network of GCAP;

We mourn Niki's death and weep for the sad state of affairs that the Philippines has fallen into. It is a country that has failed to protect its citizens from crushing poverty and hunger that suicide has become an option for the poor. It is a country that has failed to protect its own officials that terrorist can come into the gates of Congress and lob a bomb for target lawmakers, rendering hardworking personnel mere collateral damage.

Please Contact:
Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP)-Philippines
Telefax: 632-9208949
Mobile: 63917-2069803 (May-i Fabros, Media Campaigner)