Center for Women’s Resources
THE SPARK BEGINS ON MARCH 8
The Center for Women’s Resources joins the nationwide observation of the International Working Women’s Day 8 March 2018 The spark begins on March 8.
History teaches and inspires us how our foremothers, especially the working class women, had ignited the fire of protest and had changed the system.
In 1917, the striking women of Russia marched to protest against food shortages and the imperialist World War I. That strike spread across Petrograd. And by October of the same year, Tsarist Russia was abolished and a new system of government of the working class – the proletariats – was in place.
The spark begins on March 8. As it was in the past, so it will be at present. We, the Filipino women, continue the vigor of our foremothers in calling for the uplifment of our economic condition as well as the achievement of social justice and peace. As the Duterte government maintains the neoliberal policy of his predecessors, joblessness continues to rise. Unemployed men and women reached 2.44 million in 2017.
Women are constantly counted low in the labor force, where only 46.2% have been tallied in 2017, which is a drop of 3.1% from the previous year. Most of us are hired in labor-intensive, low-skilled, and low paid jobs. As jobs remain rare and wages hang low, poverty worsens. We are more burdened with the implementation of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) since it has hastened inflation to 4% increase in January 2018, faster than the 3.3% posted in December.
For lower income families, 40.3% of their food expense is allocated for bread and cereals with lesser intake of other nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, and meat. Adding fruits and vegetables are considered a luxury.
And as we protest against this deprivation, the Duterte government responds with iron hands. As a result, human rights violations happen without let-up. Many women – especially women activists – become victims of state-instigated violence. As of December 2017, 17 women were killed and 42 had been arrested. Now, more than ever, we have experienced the ingrained prejudice against our womanhood.
President Duterte himself promotes misogyny, objectification and discrimination against women. When the highest leader of the land mocks us, cracks a sex joke that degrades us, we could not expect any let-up in the number of abuses. From January 1 to February 23 of 2018, there have been 796 reported cases of rape, translating to almost 15 cases per day. Domestic violence remains high, with a woman or child being battered every 15 minutes. These are still conservative numbers because many women prefer to be silent due to lack of societal support. Let the spark begins on March 8. Like our foremothers, we will also ignite the flames of hope, we will show the strength of collective action so as to achieve a better society that respects our rights, values our dignity, and uplifts our lives. ###
For reference, contact: Cham Perez, 09156531122
DUTERTENOMICS HARDLY UPLIFTS WOMEN’S PRECARIOUS CONDITION
The situation of Filipino women continues to worsen under the Duterte administration. This is the conclusion of a women’s think tank, from its prepared country women report for 2018.
The Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), a research and training institution for women, believes that the current socio-economic policy – Dutertenomics – hardly makes the condition of women any better than the past administrations. As Dutertenomics is anchored with the neoliberal framework of free market capitalism, its programs copy the programs of the past governments of denationalizing state-owned assets, privatizing social services, deregularizing prices and liberalizing trade.
A major part of the president’s economic strategy is the Php8-trillion infrastructure plan “Build! Build! Build!” to apparently sustain the country’s growth. Indeed, Dutertenomics is haven for investors and contractors. “Dutertenomics provides another scheme for the richest 10 families in the country who mostly are into construction to reek more profit. But for the rest of the people, particularly for marginalized women, it sinks them into deep poverty,” says CWR Executive Director Ms. Jojo Guan.
CWR Report mentions that the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN), headline inflation quickened to 4% in January 2018, faster than the 3.3% posted in the previous month. With or without TRAIN, prices of basic goods and services have been surging up. Inflation or the movement of prices of basic goods and services registered at an average of 3.2% in 2017. As prices continue to rise, women and their families toil to live.
The CWR Report reveals that some people eat less and go hungry, while others shift to lower quality diets, just maintaining the grains such as rice, bread and other cereals. For lower income families, 40.3% of their food expense is allocated for bread and cereals with lesser intake of other nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, and meat. Adding fruits and vegetables are considered a luxury.
For instance, only 6% of the food expense of poorest family is for meat, 9.2% for vegetables and 3.4% for fruits. Families also start cutting the number of times they eat a day, from three to two or even one intake per day.
So just like in the past, women are filled with a myriad of concerns such as hunger, job insecurity, landlessness, want of basic services, discriminatory cultural stereotypes and misogyny, violence, human rights violations, among others. “President Duterte should see the writings on the wall and learn from the mistakes of his predecessors. Because as women experience more hunger and repression, they realize the pressing need to unite and oppose the policies that make them poorer and vulnerable to violence. We need to gather our voice to hold President Duterte accountable to the people whom he pledged to serve,” remarks Guan.
CWR will be discussing the relevant issues concerning women from various sectors of the society in its Ulat Lila (Purple Report) forum, its yearly contribution to the International Working Women’s Day commemoration. Now on its 16th year, the forum will be held at 2:00 – 5:00 PM today, March 1, 2018 at the Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. ###
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1 March 2018 For reference, contact: Cham Perez, 4112796/ 09156531122 — Center for Women’s Resources 127-B Scout Fuentebella St., Barangay Sacred Heart Quezon City 1103 Philippines Tel. +632 411-2796 Telefax +632 920-1373 URL: www.cwrweb.org Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ cwr1982/ Twitter: @cwr1982
Nationwide Int’l Women’s Day Protests Vow To Block “Mad Dog-ong” Dictatorship
Massive women’s rallies across the Philippines marked International Working Women’s Day with calls on the people to repudiate the regime of Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president they condemned as the most violent, misogynistic and rabid puppet for pro-foreign interests in the country’s history.
In Manila, angry demonstrators taunted and pummeled with blows a big effigy nicknamed “Mad Dog-ong” styled in Duterte’s likeness, depicting a hybrid beast with a predatory head and mouth mounted on a dragon-like body adorned with military fatigues.
The effigy was seen attacking members of the media and women protesters as it shimmied along the road to the presidential palace, symbolizing the sleazy policy jokes and cruel counterinsurgency attacks that Duterte habitually hurls at women, the press and the people. “Women are on the war path against Mad Dog-ong, the mad bloody puppet of the US and Chinese economic interests that cause poverty and dislocation of poor women who lose their homes, jobs, and incomes to the blood-sucking attacks of TRAIN tax reforms, privatized shelter programs, and continued labor contractualization,” GABRIELA secretary general Joms Salvador said as a throng of activists threw a net over the effigy and dragged it away.
The Manila protest began with thousands of urban poor women amassing at the National Housing Authority offices in Quezon City where they aired demands made a year ago to Duterte to award the crumbling unused housing to the homeless. On Women’s Day last year, urban women successfully occupied empty housing units in Pandi, Bulacan, an action that exposed the bankruptcy of the private-sector led relocation program that prevents the poor from acquiring decent shelter.
As the march gathered strength from Liwasang Bonifacio to Mendiola, teachers unions, workers, and consumers joined the throng and railed at the rising prices of commodities and plummeting incomes.
GABRIELA chapters led women’s day rallies in Baguio, Tuguegarao, Calamba, Sorsogon, Legazpi, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Roxas, Davao, Butuan and General Santos. The crowd size and wide array of sectors that the anti-Duterte rallies mobilized recalled the massive anti-dictatorship protests against the martial law regime of the late Ferdinand Marcos that eventually led to his shameful ouster.
On top of the punishing economic crunch the poor masses face, middle class protesters joined and raised the issues of authoritarian attacks against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, repression of women in mass media, and the impending charter change being rammed by Duterte’s allies in Congress. “Just as the royal family and government of the Russian czar collapsed in the wake of a massive women’s day protest a hundred years ago, Duterte is facing increasing isolation with his puppetry and fascist abuses. This may explain why he is targeting women in his political attacks, but women will persevere to make him accountable for his crimes,” Salvador concluded. # For immediate release 8 March 2018 Reference: Joms Salvador, Secretary General 0918.9812150
WOMEN UNDER ATTACK HIT BACK AT DU30 TERROR, MISOGYNY
Women from various sectors and institutions gathered in Manila in a media conference arranged by GABRIELA Alliance of Women, to announce the big protest action on International Working Women’s Day, March 8 that would reflect the people’s growing disgust and discontent against the Duterte regimes move towards a complete authoritarian rule. “Concerned women need to gather strength, count on one another, and not let another martial law ruler wreak havoc on the Filipino people’s lives. The accelerating pace with which Duterte’s minions are ransacking all legal checks to his self-proclamation of judge, king, lawmaker, and executioner rolled into one is not only alarming. It is already tearing apart our society in the wake of extrajudicial killings, aerial bombings of ancestral lands, loss of livelihood, the drug war and even normally solvable problems like traffic jams. When women are under attack, there is only one way to respond, we need to fight back,” GABRIELA secretary general Joms Salvador said. GABRIELA invited Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno to air her views about reports this week that forces working for her impeachment hastened to force her immediate resignation way ahead of the actual commencement of the impeachment hearings being rushed through Congress. The GABRIELA leader warned that Sereno’s rushed removal can only serve to speed up Duterte’s dark designs for the abolition of independent agencies that can potentially challenge his imposition of Charter Change, martial law declarations, war on drugs, and militarist restructuring of government structures. “In calling out to Duterte to keep his hands off the judiciary and independent commissions, we resolutely refuse to accept the machinations to use the impeachment of Ms. Sereno as a weapon and the shame-and-blackmail tactics to force the resignation of agency heads that do not deliver to Mr. Duterte’s whims and schemes,” Salvador added. GABRIELA rolled out a week-long schedule of marches and pickets that peak on March 8, International Women’s Day. “Let this year’s Women’s Day commemoration on March 8 be a stern warning for Pres. Duterte that Filipino women, his fond target of assaults and mockery, refuse to be cowered into meek submission by his macho-fascist lashing. In our numbers and together with the rest of the Filipino people, we will continue to assert our rights and dignity,” Salvador said. # —————————- For immediate release 1 March 2018 Reference: Joms Salvador, Secretary General 0918.9182150
GANGSTER JOB VS SERENO SPELLS BAD PROSPECTS FOR PH DEMOCRACY
Reports that her colleagues in the Supreme Court forced Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to take a forced leave yesterday confirms the quickening pace of conspiracies hatched against not only her but the independence and integrity of the judiciary itself, according to the GABRIELA Alliance of Women. On the day the leave takes effect and the first day of Women’s Month, GABRIELA secretary general Joms Salvador noted that the impeachment cases against the chief justice is part of a whole array of assaults that the Duterte administration has unleashed against whatever democratic institutions are still left standing in the way of totalitarian fascist rule. “As we launch protests for Women’s Month, GABRIELA is rallying in defense of an independent judiciary to serve as a check on the abuses of an anti-democratic regime. It is not just the post of the chief justice at stake here, because once the dark forces succeed in achieving their short-term goal of removing her, the Philippines will embark on a road to permanent perdition under martial law, invasion of foreign military forces, and plunder of our patrimony,” Salvador explained. Women are left with no other option but to launch more militant actions against dictatorship, GABRIELA stated, if the judiciary fails to deliver its sworn duty to uphold justice in face of an increasingly rabid executive branch of government acting more like a gangster clique. On March 8, International Women’s Day, regional chapters of GABRIELA will lead Solidarity Marches against the Macho-Fascist Dictatorship, including a big rally to Mendiola street in Manila. #
A WOMAN’S PLACE IS STILL IN THE REVOLUTION
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao and all revolutionary forces in the region celebrate the International Women’s Day with women of all classes and sectors around the nation and across the globe.
We especially congratulate all women revolutionaries who are serving the interest of the Filipino people by arousing, organizing and mobilizing other women in the line of the national democratic revolution. We are likewise inspired by the examples of the great women who have been martyred in our struggle against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. Women’s struggle for emancipation have come a long way since the historic Petrograd mobilization of 1917 where tens of thousands of women marched in the streets, demanding “Bread and Peace” against the Russian Tsar’s war and campaign of suppression.
Barely two years in power, GRP Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is reeling back more than a century of social progress with his regressive views on the value of women and their struggle for emancipation. From sexist jokes and misogynistic threats to government and social policies, Duterte has proven himself the enemy not only of women but of the entire Filipino people. Today, Filipino women are rising up to the call of undertaking militant action against the US-Duterte’s despotic regime and wars against the Filipino people. In Southern Mindanao, thousands of women are becoming invaluable mobilizers for armed struggle, agrarian revolution and base building.
Significantly, despite Duterte’s sexist threats, more and more women are joining the ranks of the New People’s Army in the region. Most of them opt to become medical officers while others are commanders or political instructors of NPA units. Even more encouraging is the marked involvement of women in the establishment of organs of political power where many of them are becoming leading members of barrio and municipal revolutionary councils.
All of leading Party units across the region also have many women cadres in their ranks. In the face of the US-Duterte regime’s outright subservience to the interests of imperialists and oligarchs, thousands more women are participating in mass actions against feudal exploitation, imperialist mining and agri-plantations in the guerilla bases. In towns and cities, women comprise more than half of the forces who are militantly confronting Duterte’s refusal to end contractualization among workers, his regime’s sell-out of the country’s economic sovereignty, his anti-poor TRAIN Law, and other issues.
Under the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system which the US-Duterte regime now resolutely consolidates through dictatorship and fascism, Filipino women of the exploited class find their rightful place in their struggle for emancipation. In the revolutionary movement, under the guidance of the Communist Party of the Philippines, women know that in order to emancipate themselves, they must immerse their struggle in the national democratic revolution.
Long live all toiling and revolutionary women! Long live the national democratic revolution!
(sgd.) RUBI DEL MUNDO Spokesperson NDFP-SMR National Democratic Front of the Philippines Southern Mindanao Region March 8, 2018 PRESS STATEMENT
WOMEN, RISE AGAINST THE US-DUTERTE REGIME
7 March 2018
Rodrigo Duterte and his regime relentlessly trample on women’s rights. His contempt for women knows no limits. His policies result in hardships, especially for the toiling women. From his unamusing rape jokes, disparages and threats, Duterte clearly is the ugly face of the feudal and patriarchal aspect of a social system which exploits and oppresses women.
Among the latest of Duterte’s tirades against women is his direct order for soldiers to shoot women Red fighters in their vagina to make them worthless. He also ridiculed women Red fighters for “leaving behind” their children when they go back to the armed struggle. For Duterte, women are mere sex objects and chattels for men. He cannot accept that women play greater roles in social struggles and transformation.
Duterte is inciting his troops to commit crimes and brutalities against the people, whether they are civilians or combatants. He openly endorses rape and other forms of sexual violence against women as a tool of his dirty war, Oplan Kapayapaan. He aims to scare off women and trample on their dignity. Operating troops of the AFP already have a long list of atrocious fascist crimes. These include the rape of a 14-year old Lumad girl by at least three soldiers in Talaingod, Davao del Norte on July 2015. On July 2016, 8th IB troopers shot dead a pregnant woman in Bukidnon.
Operating soldiers are known for their vulgar attitude and disrespect towards women. In the Duterte’s regime brutal fascist war, more and more women fall victim to killings, repression, illegal arrest and detention. In Mindanao, women, especially Moro women, suffer under martial law. Up to now, hundreds of thousands of women and their children suffer in evacuation centers and are prevented from going back to their homes in Marawi.
At the same time, the fascist military utilizes deception and seduction by romantic liaisons to render women passive and turn them away from the struggle. Peasants, especially women peasants, suffer slave-like oppression and grave forms of feudal exploitation in the countryside. The Duterte regime defends large land monopolies of big landlords and plantations. His declaration for free land distribution is clearly a lie as his regime prioritizes the reclassification of land to give way to massive land conversion of agricultural lands.
Duterte’s free irrigation is worthless to most farmers due to the absence of genuine land reform and because only a small fraction of farmlands is irrigated.
Women workers continue to suffer from low wages and inhuman working conditions. They are victims of contractualization. As workers, they endure high unemployment rates, low-level and precarious employment, especially during last year’s big job fall (more than 600,000 jobs lost).
Despite Duterte’s stunts, he cannot hide the fact that his regime is worthless in defending migrant workers’ rights and welfare, especially women migrants, and he has failed to give them alternative jobs. The Duterte regime’s measures and policies which continued the pro-imperialist neoliberal policies of the previous regimes have brought about extreme hardships to women.
At the start of the year, the people, especially women and other heads of households, endured high prices of goods and services due to additional and new taxes brought about by the TRAIN law. They are further victimized by the artificial rice shortage engendered by Duterte’s friend Manuel Piñol to continue with, and control, rice importation. Hundreds of children are victimized by bureaucratic corruption and irresponsibility of successive regimes in the unfolding tragedy of the experimental Dengvaxia vaccine. In the face of these hardships, the ruling reactionary state aims to keep women passive, meek and apolitical.
They are reduced to the confines of their households—as wives, mothers, sisters or daughters – who exist solely to serve the male members of their families. But women have long been breaking out of this mold. In the face of grave oppression, they rise in their numbers to participate in various struggles.
For these women, their participation in these struggles is the first step towards liberation. In struggle, they lift their prestige and status as women. They break the dominant feudal and patriarchal view on women as second class citizens. They actively contribute to ending the oppressive and exploitative semifeudal and semicolonial and construction of a democratic and progressive system. Hundreds of thousands of women are members of revolutionary mass organizations and other national-democratic associations and movements.
There are many women in the New People’s Army, especially coming from the ranks of the toiling masses. They decided to participate in the armed struggle and carry out various revolutionary tasks. The Filipino people look up to them. They serve as commanders, political guides, medics, supply and education officers, literacy teachers and other fields of work in different levels of the people’s army. No task or opportunity are denied to them just because they are women. Many of the Communist Party of the Philippines’ leaders are women.
The NPA has decreed that women should be treated as equals and their rights oberved at all times. Etched in its basic rules—the Three Points of Discipline and Eight Points to Remember (more known as Tres-Otso)—is strict adherence to respecting women’s rights and the proper way to treat and speak to them. Women’s equal rights to men is also in the CPP’s constitution, program and other regulations, including inside marriages. In the face of the US-Duterte regime’s oppression, violence, vulgarity and low regard, women have no choice but the rise up against its fascism. Women should persevere in the national-democratic struggle and advance in various forms of armed and unarmed struggle. The Party calls on all women workers, peasants and students to join the New People’s Army and participate in the protracted people’s war nationwide. ANG BAYAN
War Path Against 'Mad Dog-ong'
War Path Against 'Mad Dog-ong'
In Manila, angry demonstrators taunted and pummeled with blows a big effigy nicknamed “Mad Dog-ong” styled in Duterte’s likeness, depicting a hybrid beast with a predatory head and mouth mounted on a dragon-like body adorned with military fatigues.
The effigy was seen attacking members of the media and women protesters as it shimmied along the road to the presidential palace, symbolizing the sleazy policy jokes and cruel counterinsurgency attacks that Duterte habitually hurls at women, the press and the people.
“Women are on the war path against Mad Dog-ong, the mad bloody puppet of the US and Chinese economic interests that cause poverty and dislocation of poor women who lose their homes, jobs, and incomes to the blood-sucking attacks of TRAIN tax reforms, privatized shelter programs, and continued labor contractualization,” GABRIELA secretary general Joms Salvador said as a throng of activists threw a net over the effigy and dragged it away.
PAHAYAG NG KABABAIHANG BILANGGONG PULITIKAL SA PAGGUNITA NG PANDAIGDIGANG ARAW NG KABABAIHAN
Kaming mga kababaihang bilanggong pulitikal sa Camp Bagong Diwa sa Taguig City Jail ay nakikiisa sa paggunita sa pandaigdigang araw ng kababaihan.
Inaresto at ikinulong kami sa panahon ng rehimen ni Arroyo at rehimen ni Benigno Aquino III. Sinampahan ng mga gawa-gawang kasong kriminal.
Hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay nagtitiis pa rin sa napakasikip na kulungan sa kabila ng pangako ni Pangulong Duterte na palayain ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal sa bansa. Sa paggunita sa mahalagang araw ng kababaihan, patuloy naming ipinapanawagan sa pangulo – Free All our Sisters, Free All Political Prisoners sa buong bansa.
Ang agarang pagpapalaya sa mga political prisoners ay usapin ng hustisya. Bukod pa sa napagkasunduan ito sa Peace Talks sa pagitan ng Gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas (GPH) at ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), obligasyon din ng GPH ang pagpapatupad ng Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law dahil pumirma siya rito.
Nananawagan din kami sa administrasyong Duterte na ipagpatuloy ang Peace Talks sa pagitan ng GPH at NDFP para maisulong ang makabayan at demokratikong adhikain ng mga kababaihan at mamamayan.
Humihiling din kami ng suporta sa mamamayan na lalo pang palakasin ang kilusang masa at kilusan ng kababaihan para palayain ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal at para makamit ang tunay na kapayapaan na nakabatay sa hustisya sa buong bansa.
Free All our Sisters! Free All Political Prisoners!
Ituloy ang Peace Talks sa pagitan ng GPH at NDFP! Palakasin ang pakikibaka ng sambayanan!
Signed: Taguig City Jail – Female Dormitory, Camp Bagong Diwa
Gemma Carag Arlene Panea Rhea Pareja Presentacion Saluta Maria Miradel Torres
WOMEN ACTIVISTS DECRY ATTACKS AGAINST RIGHTS DEFENDERS, CALL FOR RELEASE OF ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
On the eve of International Women’s Day on March 7, 2018, organizations led by Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi staged a protest rally at Camp Crame, Quezon City to call for the release of all political prisoners and an end to attacks against activists and human rights defenders (HRDs).
Women relatives of political prisoners Marklen Maojo Maga, Dionisio Almonte, Edward Lanzanas, Rhea Pareja, Rex Villaflor and Jesus Abetria, and of detained peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Rafael Baylosis, Ferdinand Castillo, and Leopoldo Caloza also joined the women-led mass action.
Children of HRDs, sporting butterfly wings to symbolize their solidarity against tyranny, and former political prisoners led by Sharon Cabusao of Gabriela also joined the activity.
“For the macho-fascist and foul-mouthed Duterte, repression is wielded as a tool against activists and human rights defenders in an attempt to force them into silence. Among his favorite moves is the use of blanket rhetoric, labeling anyone seeks to engage the government as “enemies of the state”, “terrorist” or “NPA members and sympathizers”. Everyone is considered fair game by this murderous government and its ruthless, bloodthirsty security forces,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay during the protest rally.
Tanggol Bayi, an association of women human rights defenders in the Philippines, said that women experience verbal assaults from Duterte, on top of the criminalization and attacks that women HRDs experience on the ground. Tanggol Bayi also emphasized that women, if not subjected to harassment, are either put to jail or killed.
Myles Albasin, a woman youth leader from University of the Philippines-Cebu, together with five peasant organizers - Bernard Guillen, Carlo Ybanez, Joemar Indico, Joey Vailoces, and Randel Hermino - were illegally arrested on March 3, 2018 at Brgy. Luyang, Mabinay, Negros Oriental. They were alleged as NPA rebels and charged with trumped up cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, which were all denied by the six.
Jolita Tolino, a Dulangan Manobo and a volunteer teacher of the Center for Lumad Advocacy and Services, Inc. (CLANS), an alternative Lumad school that caters to indigenous children, was arrested on February 7, 2018 based on trumped-up charges of murder and frustrated murder.
Five women activists in Cordillera were also named in fabricated charges of frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder filed by the 7th Infantry Division, implicating them in an alleged encounter between the NPA and the AFP. All five are members of mass organizations.
“Duterte has already jailed 145 human rights defenders, mostly from the ranks of peasants and indigenous communities.
As of December 2017, there are 486 political prisoners in the country, 41 of whom are women. Clearly, Duterte is using everything and everyone in his machinery to gag the voices of those who are asserting people’s rights and welfare,” said Geri Cerillo of Tanggol Bayi.
“We also remember Karapatan Negros coordinator Elisa Badayos, who was killed while on a fact-finding mission in Bayawan, Negros Oriental on November 28, 2017. We are reminded that as fascist regimes breed intolerance against resistance and dissent, it is capable of truly heinous crimes.
For the human rights defenders all over the country and all over the world, we are with you in solidarity. It is the sacrifices that fellow HRDs have experienced that jolt us awake and remind us everyday that our rights were never handed down to us, it was always fought for,” Cerillo stated.
The said protest action is part of the activities in line with the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development’s (APWLD’s) Feminist Solidarity Against Militarism and Fundamentalism.
Press Release March 7, 2018 Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831 Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi
KARAPATAN AND TANGGOL BAYI STATEMENT ON THE COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Today, March 8, 2018, as the world commemorates International Women’s Day, Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi joins Filipino women in marching and standing up against State repression and all forms of human rights violations and gender-based violence.
Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi remembers the 20 women killed in line with the Duterte regime’s counterinsurgency program. They are Emerenciana Dela Rosa, Violeta De Leon, Makenet Gayoran, Jessybel Sanchez, Rita Gascon, Leonila Pesadilla, Nurmayda Abbi, Arlene Almonicar, Cora Lina, Crisanta Petalco, Lolita Pepito, Rechely Luna, Ana Marie Aumada, Carolina Arado, Catalina Castro, Thelma Albanio, Dalia Arrabis, Grace Merilla, Elisa Badayos, and Jennirose Porras.
We demand justice and accountability for the many more women slaughtered under Duterte’s war on drugs, among other anti-people policies. We recall the many more women human rights defenders killed, harassed and jailed by previous regimes who know laws, but never their implementation; who give lipservice, but have been the staunch defenders of the status quo.
We live in very dangerous, difficult times. In the face of a murderous regime that knows no shame, the country continues to be steeped in poverty, puppetry to foreign interests such as that of the US, and repression and oppression in different forms.
The Duterte regime has been accustomed to demeaning and verbally assaulting women on live television, objectifying women, and openly inciting violence against them. Indeed, the likes of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and the President himself, who hold top positions, are instruments in reproducing and normalizing a society that that is mired with gender-based violence, political repression and oppression – targeting women who resist while ensuring the majority remain in their dire political and economic state.
Political repression and gender-based violence are not the only barriers faced by women today. Neoliberal policies aggressively peddled by the Duterte regime has led to increased poverty, exploitation, and discrimination that is actively reinforced by political and economic institutions and policies.
Multiple burdens hound women – as mothers, wives, unpaid family workers, underpaid contractual employees and other forms of oppression that bind women in a cycle of poverty and disempowerment. It is thus imperative for women to build movements, aligned with other oppressed sectors in society. It is in the collective strength of women and the people that we have triumphed over dictators and patriarchal systems that have diminished us for a long time. We take courage from the women who have lived, resisted and fought before us; and march alongside those who continue to fight for a just society.
(Photo: Artwork by Karapatan’s legal counsel, Atty. Ma. Sol Taule, depicting women’s solidarity)
A famous movie articulated that rebellion and resistance is built on hope. Our steadfast determination to continue fighting in the trenches of the struggle despite the incessant repression and oppression is our resistance. We are not terrorists or enemies of the state; we are women who have come together to defeat a macho-fascist and tyrannical regime, and demand justice and accountability.
Press Release March 8, 2018 Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831 Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
DUTERTE REGIME’S PROSCRIPTION PETITION TARGETS CRITICS, RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Karapatan condemns the listing of more than 600 persons, human rights defenders and critics of the Duterte government in the proscription petition filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), through Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, at a regional court in Manila on February 21, 2018.
The petition not only seeks to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorist organizations but also named individuals as their supposed leaders or members, including those who are dead, missing and members of paramilitary units accused of killing Lumads in Mindanao.
“There is no doubt that the filing of the petition is an effort to sow fear and panic among Duterte’s detractors, subjectively prepare the public for more intense political repression, and be the front act of a crackdown against the dictator wannabe’s critics. The list of leaders and members is a take-off from the Order of Battle (OB) lists of the Gloria Arroyo and Noynoy Aquino regimes,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina E. Palabay.
She recalled that persons listed in the OB often ended up arrested based on false charges, incarcerated and even tortured, missing or killed. “Not only do such lists incite human rights violations, they also legitimize and make “normal” to the public the government’s abuse of power in suppressing dissent and decimating the supposed “enemies of the state,” she stated. Victoria Tauli Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, is among the named individuals in the petition. “This is a clear case of reprisal from Malacanang for Corpuz’s expressed concern over possible cases of human rights violations due to the imposition of martial law in Mindanao. She and another UN SR released a statement in response to a letter of allegation submitted by Karapatan to her office,” Palabay commented.
In the list also are human rights defenders who have been in the forefront of defending and protecting human and people’s rights like Elisa Tita Lubi, Karapatan National Executive Committee member and former interim Regional Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD).
Also named in the petition are Joan Carling, past Secretary General of the Asian Indigenous Peoples’ Pact (AIPP) and former member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Atty. Jose Molintas, former member of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP); Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator of the International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL); Sandugo Co-Chairperson Joanna Cariño; Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) Chairperson Windel Bolinget; and at least 10 Lumad datu/leaders in Northern and Southern Mindanao.
Even more unbelievable is the inclusion in the list of the names of the nine-member Karapatan quick reaction team arrested in November 2017 and HR defenders in Negros.
While National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as an organization was omitted in the proscription, those involved in the peace talks between the GRP and NDFP were listed like Peace Panel members Coni Ledesma, Juliet de Lima and Benito Tiamzon; Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison; Senior Adviser Luis Jalandoni; Wilma Austria-Tiamzon and at least 20 other peace consultants; and former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, independent cooperator.
The Karapatan leader also said that the list is “severely defective as it contains scores of aliases (aka), John and Jane Does so any person can be added later.”
“The list also contains seven names of paramilitary group members including four from the New Indigenous Peoples’ Army (NIPAR), led by Alde “Butchoy” Salusad, who have standing warrants for the killing of Lumad leader Datu Jimmy Liguyon.
They also have been presented and paid as surrenderees, consistent to their being all-purpose pawns in the military’s repressive schemes,” Palabay said. “On the whole, DOJ’s proscription petition is dubious and a maneuver meant to harass, target and criminalize persons in progressive organizations.
We should oppose this and other tyrannical acts that brand legitimate dissent and activism as ‘terrorism.’ What should be addressed instead is Duterte’s brand of state terrorism, which has victimized thousands. Indeed, shouldn’t Duterte be branded instead as the number 1 terrorist?” Palabay concluded.
Press Release | March 9, 2018
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831 Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580