War and Militarism and the Scourge of Rape and Trading of Women

kaisaka on militrarism and wars

The wars that the US and its allies carried out after WWII until now in the early 21st century have brought untold sufferings to millions of people and swathes of destruction in different countries.  Despite this, the Trump government is further boosting its war industry, is urging NATO countries and his allies in Asia to raise their military budgets and to join him in more wars against what they consider as primary threats to global security.


KAISA KA, a women’s organization working for women’s liberation and social change, heeds the call of the World March of Women for solidarity against these wars and war threats that further engender the scourge of sexual assault, trafficking and prostitution of women.


The continuing wars and destruction


The purportedly “humanitarian” US-led wars that aimed to get rid of Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction,” stop Libya’s autocratic rule that “authorized military mass orgies,” and get rid of President Assad who “ran a death machine” and “used chemical weapons” against Syrian citizens, are still raging.


Investigations have unraveled the imperialist designs of the US and its allies.   They aimed for oil, gas, minerals, billons in gold and cash, Libya’s great source of fresh, precious water that could be lucrative business for foreign companies.  Led by the US, imperialist powers wanted these countries and several others as new markets.


These are ruthless wars.  The US, Britain and other allies have used weapons that were among the most lethal and destructive.  They exploit racial, religious, ethnic, economic and other differences to help build, arm and train terrorist groups and sway them to create mayhem in countries where governments are not subservient to the dictates of the US and EU, thereby justifying their armed intervention while saving US and the EU from getting blamed for the atrocities.


As these wars turn large areas into barren land, hostile to all living things, they demolish livelihoods, destroy communities, deprive people of clean drinking water, maim, kill and displace millions of people.  These wars ever increase the number of refugees in modern history, bigger than during WWII.


In Syria, death toll until 2016 has reached 470,000.  This is the biggest in the so-called Middle East-North Africa (MENA) area.  Its displaced population is also the biggest.  More than 4.2 million have become refugees outside the Syrian border while 8 million more were internally displaced.


Rape, trafficking and prostitution worsen under war conditions


The wars that came out of the “Arab Spring” are causing menace to women and girls.  Women, when still in the areas of conflict, aside from suffering what the men endure, are often victims of rape, kidnapping and forced marriages especially to members of terrorist groups.  Those who are kidnapped are often sold as slaves or to be wives even at very young age of eight or nine years. Thousands of young girls get married and divorced and remarried, with marriage becoming mere “legal” cover for prostitution.


A big number of those who escape to other countries, even to Europe become victims of trafficking.  While men also get raped or traded, women and girls are more prone to sexual assault, trafficking, prostitution and enslavement especially now when governments have made the process of accepting and integrating refugees extra difficult.


Threat of More Wars


It is revolting that while the US, Britain and leading EU states that pushed and manipulated information in order to justify intervention in these 21st century wars and are, therefore, answerable for the creation of the refugee crisis, are the ones that taking a strong position against accepting and integrating more refugees.


It is horrible that despite the catastrophic level of the problems their wars created, they, especially the US are prolonging their involvement in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen while doing actual preparations to open new war fronts to rein in North Korea and Iran and prevent the growth of Russia and China.  Peoples in the region should take the danger of war seriously as the US did not withdraw the Asia-Pacific pivot that primarily aims at China.  Trump has revealed, two nuclear submarines are in Korea.  Two naval fleets patrol the China Sea closest to China and within the contested area of South China Sea.  US forces in Japan are in their strongest level.


War at home and open threats to women


The Filipino people, particularly those in Mindanao, including the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are in war situation presently, particularly for the residents of Marawi City and adjoining towns in Lanao Sur.


Without factual basis and despite the assessment by both the police and armed forces that the terrorist threat is under check and that it can be contained without declaring martial law, Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law and suspended the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao starting May 23. This is a de facto declaration of war on over 22 million Filipinos living there.


Moreover, Duterte threatens to place under martial law the entire Philippines even just on mere report of terrorist presence in the islands of Luzon and Visayas.


As thousands have left Marawi City to seek refuge elsewhere, the president and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is exhorting and cajoling soldiers to exercise their martial law powers, assuring them that he would answer for those who may be accused of committing abuses and other crimes, including rape.


He enjoined the soldiers to his lust for power and his contempt for women, unmindful of the fact that those before him were men and women in uniform.


He was in his natural shameless, misogynistic self when he said, “If anyone among you rape three women, I will own responsibility for it.” This is how Duterte, the commander-in-chief revs up “his soldiers” for war against women and men who oppose his drive towards dictatorial rule and everyone who would fall prey to Duterte’s lust for absolute power.


Now, more than ever, as we join the global fight against US war and militarism, we raise our vigilance and resist the open attempt to establish one-man tyrannical rule, threatening to make terrorism real in the Philippines.


No to war and militarism!


No to martial law!


Let us affirm our global solidarity against war and militarism on June 3, 2017.


Martial Law is a War against Women

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“I will be imprisoned for you. If you rape three (women), I will say I did it.”

This statement displays the President’s impunity—that he is not simply above the law rather he is “the Law”. He is serving the women in a silver platter to the military. That it is okay to rape. He is encouraging the soldiers to commit a crime: one, to kill and two, rape not one but as many women as the soldiers can.

The statement also displays he is the displaying his patron mindset. He is taking responsibility over his “servants” crimes. He is actually saying that the soldiers cannot be held accountable / liable for crimes.

The statement displays his machismo. He sees women as his unequal and mere sex objects. All the more chilling given that women and children bear the ill effects of any conflict or war.

We have seen these conflict areas around the world and even in our own history, rape committed during war is often intended to terrorize the population, destroy communities, and, in some cases, change the ethnic make-up of the next generation. Sometimes it is also used to deliberately infect women with HIV or render women from the targeted community incapable of bearing children.

In this sense, rape is a tool of subjugating a weaker entity to a more powerful one. It is not “a joke”, rather it was a tasteless, sexist and misogynistic comment unless he thinks that soldiers are rapists, like him when he commented on the rape of the Australian Missionary while he was still running for office as a Presidential candidate.

And what makes it more tyrannically that he made that statement now that he has declared Martial Law, unjustifiably declared Martial Law— a time when the military is given and think they have more power or that they are above the civilian authority—which under ordinary situation is supreme over military.

The military knows thay have more power, even if the Constitution operates and the rights of the people are guaranteed. And since the writ of habeas corpus is suspended and the military has power to arrest anybody which was previously a police function, we fear that abuses are likely.

Now more than ever that we should be vigilant. We call on our brothers and sisters in uniform to resist illegal orders and respect the rights of Filipinos.

Together let us Resist Tyranny and Uphold Democratic Rights. ###

SOS for our KAISA KA Fire Survivors


Dear Friends and Allies

Yesterday, February 7, 2017 at around 9:38 PM, fire quickly spread through Gates 1 and 10 of Barangay 20 Zone 2, District 1 in Parola Compound. The blaze displaced an initial estimate of 3,000 families or approximately 18,000 individuals. Though the cause of the blaze is still unknown, it was only two years prior that the other side of Parola Compound, Barangay 275 Zone 25 in District III, Binondo went up in flames for twelve hours, which ate up two hectares of houses corresponding to 55 Million pesos worth of damage.

The area is being eyed for the Pasig Rehabilitation Plan and Port Development Plan despite two Presidential Proclamations (2002 and 2004) and one Executive Order handed down during the Arroyo administration that has awarded the area to its current residents.

For Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan Para sa Kalayaan or KAISAKA, a national grassroots women organization, it counts among its members at least one thousand individuals affected by the fire. Thus we are switching on our Oplan Sagip Bayan (Oplan People’s Rescue) in behalf of those affected by the fire.

This is in close coordination with CONCERN or Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation, an institution that has more than twenty-seven years of consistent work in the field of disaster-risk and rehabilitation and has assisted more than two million individuals since 1988 including Pinatubo, Milenyo, Yolanda, Ondoy and even Lawin.

The affected residents were only able to escape the blaze with their lives. Devoid of roofs over their heads some sought to go back to their homes, now blackened stubs, trying to salvage anything serviceable. Some sought shelter in the nearby Iglesia Church Compound or at the Delpan Complex.

Their ability to eke out a living, already precarious from the onset is made more so made even more so when disasters like this happen. As of now, adult and child alike have yet to have a warm meal or even a comforting cup of milk or coffee.

They already occupy the bottom rungs of society and are in dire need of assistance from various concerned sectors like as clothing including underwear, baby diapers and sanitary napkins; sanitary kits: toothpaste, toothbrush, soaps, shampoo and face towel, food including milk for babies (breast milk or formula milk), potable water, kitchen utensils (including pots and pans) and cooking stoves; flashlight and batteries, medicines, heavy canvass (for make-shift roof/wall) and rope; sleeping materials like mats, pillows and blankets; along with building materials (wood, G.I sheets, nails, cement etc.) including hammer and saw.

As we switch on Oplan Sagip Bayan, we are sending out an appeal to all our friends and allies, like you, hoping that we can gather both food and non-food support for the fire victims and able-bodied volunteers, specifically for the one thousand five hundred members who are part of our network of grass roots organizations.

Our ability to respond hinges on how fast we can muster the needed support for the victims. Help us help the Parola fire victims now. Please see the attached PLEDGE FORM below. You may also bring your donations to our drop center : Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon ng Pilipinas (MKP) Building, 22 Domingo Guevarra St., Brgy Hi-way Hills, Mandaluyong City or call us at these numbers : (02) 717 3262 c/o Josef (0932 8662094)or DJ (0923 8161971).  You may also contact local operators at kaisaka.north@gmail,com and at +639182086666.


(SGD) Atty. Virginia Suarez-Pinlac

Coordinator, Oplan Sagip Bayan

Email: sagipbayan.pinas@gmail.com


P L E D G E   F O R M


YES, I/We am/are intend to (please check the appropriate item)


_____ provide food, medicines and other forms of non-food assistance

_____ donate an amount of PhP ______ for the purchase of relief goods and other logisticsneeded for the emergency response (a standard pack of relief goods enough for a family of 6 to consume in 3 days amounts to PhP1250.00 or $ 27.00)

_____ share my time and skills on emergency response from ______ until


_____ disseminate your appeal to other organizations and individuals

_____ lend my/our equipment which could be used for the Emergency Operations Center

           ______ vehicle

           ______ radio transceiver

           ______ cellular phone

           ______ fax machine

           ______ warehouse

           ______ others (please specify) _______________________________ endorse the OSB to my friends who are also willing to do the same


You may come to pick-up my/our support on _____________ (date) at _________ (place). In case, I/We am/are out, please coordinate with Mr./Ms._____________


Name:               ____________________________

Signature:         ____________________________

Date:                ____________________________



For financial assistance in our cash or checks, please send it to:



Account Number: 6930027498                                       

Account Name: Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA) Inc.

Bank Address: BDO Mandaluyong Libertad Branch

                        GF Sierra Heights Place, Libertad corner Sierra Madre Sts., Brgy. Highway Hills,

                        Mandaluyong City Philippines 1550



Account Number:106930026351                         

Account Name: Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA) Inc.


Routing No.: 021-000089

Bank Address: BDO Mandaluyong Libertad Branch

                        GF Sierra Heights Place, Libertad corner Sierra Madre Sts., Brgy. Highway Hills,

                        Mandaluyong City Philippines 1550



For volunteer work and endorsements, please coordinate with the Secretariat:

(02) 717 3262 c/o Jhay or DJ (0923 8161971) @ Oplan Sagip Bayan Volunteer Center – NCR: Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon ng Pilipinas Bldg. #22 Libertad St. Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City Tel/ Fax: (02) 717 3262         Email: sagipbayan.pinas@gmail.com

Remember the Assault on Women during Martial Law! Resist a Return to Tyranny!


The Marcos fascist regime, which meant 14 years of terror to the Filipino people, inflicted some of the most inhuman state-sponsored violence against women (VAW) on the biggest number of Filipinas since WWII.  This should be one big reason for women and for men who honor their wives, mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers to oppose historical revisions about that era and resist a return to autocratic rule.


As we join the global 16 Days of Activism against VAW on its 25th year, KAISA KA, a women’s organization in the struggle for women’s emancipation and social change, deems it fit and timely to focus on state-sponsored violence against women.


Heinous forms of VAW


Most of the victims of violence during the dictatorship are in their senior years now and many have died.  Many women had passed away without fully disclosing their stories about gang-rape, rape using foreign objects like pistols, sexual battering and other harrowing experiences in the hands of soldiers, to whom the Marcos dictatorship has practically given license and privileges.  Most of these victims, though, have told their husbands, their best friends, their confidantes.


Victims of state-sponsored VAW during those dark years included not only women who were arrested and detained for being suspects of subversion but also young daughters of farmers that soldiers met in the barrios (rural barangays), women working in bars that soldiers frequented, even a few actresses that certain units of the military intelligence were attracted to and thus were declared as “suspected subversive elements.”


Soldiers subjected women visiting detained relatives to unnecessary frisking, oftentimes, while throwing obscenities or groping their private parts.  Some would peek at couples in conjugal enclosures.  Pregnant women were not spared.  And some interrogators threatened to rape girl-children of detainees being investigated if they do not “cooperate.”

In the rural areas, countless mothers suffered the anguish of seeing their children go hungry or not being able to feed them on time as soldiers would prevent the movement of supplies they bought from the town markets or would destroy their crops, accusing them of providing food stuff for rebels.


The list of the various forms of violence could be very long.  But most heart rending were the several cases of abduction of innocent children of suspected rebels.  Military detachments displayed these children for a while, a psychological ploy, ostensibly to prevent rebels from conducting attacks and to lure the parents to surrender.


A Reason for Alarm


It is alarming that for several months now, while President Duterte has drummed up total agreement and support for his war against drugs, creating a culture of fear and silence (to question and criticize), some people, especially in the social media were also actively spreading the so-called positive outcomes of martial law and extolling the “appropriateness” of a “strongman rule” for the Philippines. Even as he interspaced his comments with character


While he sounded during the presidential campaign like he was merely warning drug lords, dealers, pushers and users so that they could change, it has become clear that he was true to his byword: kill, kill, kill.   A day after his inaugural, the Duterte did not mince words when at San Beda College, he said, “Ang due process ay sa korteHindi ninyo mahahanap yan sa akin.” (Due process is in the courts.  You cannot find it in me). In different occasions, he said, he does not care for human rights.


Alleged drug lords, dealers, pushers and users killed is now around 5,000.  Duterte however, bids for a longer time for his “war against drugs” because as he has his own list of suspects, he realized that more “nonhumans” have to be killed.  He is asking Congress to bring back death penalty and to lower the age of minors who could be charged criminally from the present 17 years old to 12-9 years old.  Not content with the present security forces, he has voiced his intent to build a gendarme, “something like the former Philippine Constabulary.”


All his critics from heads of States (US and the Vatican) to neophyte Senator Leila de Lima received a verbal thrashing adding character defamation and shaming for the Lady Senator and now echoed by his allies in a “super-majority Congress”.


He even threatened the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court about declaring martial law after she instructed judges in Duterte’s list of “drug personalities” to not surrender.  He apologized a few days afterwards but lately, he warned that if lawlessness escalates he would be forced to suspend the writ of habeas corpus.


As the killings are continuously desensitizing people, Duterte ushers in Ferdinand Marcos, Jr’s return and rise to power by introducing him in China as “the next vice president, if he wins his case against Vice President Leni Robredo” and by finally allowing the burial of the dictator Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).


Clearly now, Duterte is heading towards a kind of rule that approximates martial law.


More reason for women to oppose tyranny


Open fascist rule in itself spells danger for women.  When even “rules of discipline” of the state security forces can be set aside in the name of “securing the state”, women become open prey of powerful sections that are licensed to kill.


A culture of rape-as-punishment being promoted now is ominous of how bad a Duterte fascist rule will be for women. Threatening to rape (and kill) women who question or criticize the president’s ideas and actions has not been as widely used as now and by the very persons promoting through the social media a pro-martial law/pro- strongman-rule culture and adulation of Duterte.  And the president, who never apologized for his ill remark on the rape of an Australian despite strong criticisms from here and from other parts of the world, has never issued a public censure to stop this culture of violence against women.  Instead, his speeches continue to mirror his own disrespect and low regard for women.


Misogynist Duterte could make a fascist rule doubly menacing for women. We should resist it now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Oppose the return of tyranny!

No to all forms of violence against women!

Resist state violence against women!