SiGAw will join community members and organizations for a vigil this coming Monday, July 23, in remembering victims of human rights violations under the administration of Philippine President Aquino. SiGAw members will speak out against the lies that Aquino will spin about the supposed achievements of his regime, during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the Philippines.
Aquino promised “change,” at the start of his presidency and now claims growth in the Philippine economy, but women and the rest of the Filipino people suffer intensifying hardships, wherein nearly one fourth of the country (23.8%) lives in extreme hunger. Aquino forced his Public Private Partnership (PPP) economic program, upon the people, resulting in the privatization of health, education, and housing. Through the PPP, domestic and foreign corporations run the sectors that they control like a business. Instead of having free healthcare, education, and affordable housing, the profit-driven interests of corporations dominate and trample on the rights and welfare of the people. Aquino continues to uphold these anti-people and anti-women policies, exposing his true nature as a puppet to U.S. imperialism.
Under Aquino, state forces commit brutal acts of violence against women and children. The human rights alliance, Karapatan, has recorded three cases of rape of minors. Other human rights violations, such as harassment, forced evacuations, and extrajudicial killings mostly result from military combat operations in communities. The Aquino administration showed its total disregard for the rights of Filipino women, with the case of “Pamela,” who a diplomat from Panama had raped while in the Philippines. Rather than upholding the rule of law and defending Philippine nationals, Aquino’s administration cited diplomatic immunity in allowing Pamela’s accused rapist to flee the country.
As part of GABRIELA-USA, SiGAw charges Aquino for his crimes against women and the Filipino people. Aquino’s deceit regarding the state of the nation and the privatization of social services must end. The group also calls for an end to US military aid to the Philippines, which will likely triple from last year to $30 million. “Filipino women in the United States face similar budget cuts to social services, while our tax dollars are being sent overseas for military aid of repressive regimes. We cannot allow US tax dollars to be used for further militarization of communities and increased human rights violations against women, children, and the entire Filipino people,” stated Terrie Cervas, Campaigns Coordinator for SiGAw.
SiGAw invites all sisters and allies in Los Angeles to come to the Philippine consulate on the day of SONA to hold Aquino accountable. The woman’s organization will participate in a vigil for kababayan affected by Aquino’s anti-people policies, as well as to demand justice for the victims of human rights violations in the Philippines. Cervas adds, “We know that the only true solution to the people’s misery and suffering in the Philippines is to win genuine national democracy and establish a people’s democratic government run by and for the vast majority of people, which will implement genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization while defending the country from imperialist domination.”
Charge the Aquino Regime for its crimes and deceit against the people!
Advance the strong force of women for livelihood and rights!
US Troops Out of the Philippines Now!Support the Struggle for National Democracy in the Philippines!
SiGAw honors and pays tribute to GABRIELA co-founder Maita Gomez
History often forgets the women heroines who valiantly dedicated their lives to the freedom of their people. SiGAw will not forget! Maita Gomez, a co-founder of GABRIELA, passed away from cardiac arrest on July 12 this year. Maita gave up the luxuries of being from the landed-class and the high life of a national beauty queen to struggle with and for the most oppressed of people in the Philippines. Maita became inspired by the National Democratic movement and upheld women’s rights through organizing with Malayang Kilusan ng Bagong Kababaihan (Makibaka). After the declaration of martial law in the country, Maita even went so far as to put her own life by joining the New People’s Army as an organizer and revolutionary guerrilla to fight against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. After spending time as a political prisoner, she co-founded GABRIELA in 1984 while the country was still under the fascist rule of Marcos. Maita went on to organize in many other realms, including fighting against plunder by foreign mining corporations and establishing a progressive political party, Makabayan. SiGAw salutes Maita Gomez for dedicating her life in service to the people.