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. ###

Labanan ang Pagpapanumbalik sa Kapangyarihan ng mga Marcos! Labanan ang Pagbabalik ng Tiraniya!

people-monument

Inilibing ang bangkay ng pasistang diktador Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr., Nobyembre 18, sa Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).  Tulad sa pagnanakaw, inilihim sa publiko hanggang sa mismong oras ng seremonyang puspos sa parangal at ritwal na bagay lamang sa taong nabuhay nang marangal, may integridad, matapat at may natatanging ambag sa pagsulong ng lipunan. Naroon ang mga opisyal ng AFP at PNP at honor guards na nagbigay ng parangal pang-estado at militar (state and military honor).

AFP at PNP ang unang kumumpirma sa media na alam ni Presidente Duterte ang libing, na itinanggi naman ng kanyang mga tagapagsalita sa Malakanyang. Sinabi ni AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla na ang utos ng Department of National Defense (DND), na Nob. 17 nila natanggap, ay tiyak na alam ni Duterte. Mismong si PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa ay nagsabing “tiyak na alam ito ni Duterte sapagkat siya rin ang may tuwirang ugnay sa mga Marcos.” Nang salubungin ng international media si Duterte sa pagdating sa Lima, Peru ay kinumpirma na alam nga niya ang libing at “pamilya Marcos ang nagtakda ng petsa”.

Sinabi ni Duterte na kanyang “ipinapatupad lang ang batas at desisyon ng Korte Suprema”  Subalit ang lihim ngunit marangyang libing ng diktador ay pagsikot sa proseso ng batas at korte. Ipinagkait nito sa mga tumututol ang pagkakataong maghapag ng motion for reconsideration mula Nobyemre 9-23. Garapalang ipinagtanggol g Korte Suprema ang tapos nang libing sa pahayag na “walang batas na nagbabawal na ilibing si Marcos sa LNMB” at “walang apila laban sa libing”.

Malinaw, mula simula, ang kutsabaan Duterte, pamilyang Marcos at 9 na mahistrado ng Korte Suprema. Inilihim ang libing sa taong bayan upang hindi maiwas sa tiyak na pagharang ng mamamayan.  Hanggang sa huling sandali, kataksilan sa bayan ang ipinamalas ng pamilya Marcos na suportado ni Duterte.

Ang utos ni Duterte na pinaboran ng 9 na mahistradong nagsuko at nagbenta ng kanilang integridad at ang biglaang libing ay tahasang pagyurak sa makasaysayang soberanong pasya at akto ng milyun-milyong mamamayan sa buong kapuluan na lumaban at nagwakas sa diktadurang Marcos.

Ang pagrangal na iginawad sa diktador:  pagsundo ng  helicopter ng AFP, pagsalubong at pagpapasan sa balikat ng kanyang kabaong ng mga sundalo, paglalagak nito sa hila-ng-kabayo na (caisson), pagpupugay ng honor guards, pagbalot ng bandila ng bansa sa kanyang kabaong, 21-gun salute at  volley of fire at paglalagay ng cauldron of fire or eternal flame na natatangi sa puntod ni Marcos, ay pagdakila sa tiranong naghari sa loob ng 21 taon, kabilang ang 14 na taon ng lantarang pasistang diktadura.

Pilit na pinalilimot sa mamamayan ang lansakang pagsupil sa mga demokratiko at makataong karapatan; pagdukot at pagpatay sa libu-libong mamamayan; pagtortyur at pagbilanggo sa abot 100,000; panggagahasa sa mga kababaihang inaresto, ibinilanggo o pinatay; pagpapalayas ng daan-daan libong mamamayan sa kanilang mga pamayanan sa kanayunan; pagtatayo ng mga yunit para-militar at mga kampo at detachment ng militar sa halos lahat ng mga baryo/barangay sa kanayunan; pagbaon ng bansa sa dayuhang utang; pagnanakaw at pagtakas ng bilyong dolyar na halaga ng kabang yaman; ginawang “gatasang-baka” ang mga proyektong pang-impraistruktura, ilang ospital at higit sa lahat ang halimaw na plantang nukleyar sa Bataan na hanggang 2007 ay binayaran ng mamamayan ang ginugol dito na utang na $2.2B (bukod pa ang interes nito), na makabuluhang  bahagi ay padulas kay Marcos at komisyon ng crony niyang si Herminio Disini.

Ito ang tampok sa madugo at mapandambong na rekord ng diktador na si Marcos, na iniidolo ni Duterte. Ang palihim ngunit puspos sa parangal na paglibing sa diktador sa LNMB ay pagyurak sa  mahabang pakikibaka ng milyun-milyong mamamayan, na humantong sa pag-aalsang Pebrero 1986, na nagwakas sa diktadurang Marcos. Paglapastangang sa soberanong pasya at aksyon ng mamamayan at pagbaligtad ng kasaysayan ang kahulugan ng “pagbabayad-utang” ni Duterte sa pamilyang Marcos. Bukod dito ang bumubungad na pagpwesto kay Bong Bong Marcos sa kapangyarihan.

May batayan ang pangamba ng marami at ni Bise-presidente Leni Robredo na lulutuin sa Korte Suprema ang kasong isinampa ni Bong Bong Marcos. Kinaray ni Duterte si Bong Bong Marcos sa kanyang pagbisita sa China at doon ipinakilala sa mga Tsino bilang “susunod na bise-presidente ng Pilipinas kung mananalo sa kaso laban kay Leni Robredo”. Higit dito, sinabi rin ni Duterte, sa parehing pagkakataon, na kanyang tinutularan ang idolong Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.

Ilang araw bago ang panakaw na libing, ipinahayag ni Duterte sa harap ng publiko na kanyang “kinokonsidera ang pagsuspinde sa writ of habeas corpus” kapag siya ay “mapuwersa” ng pinapalaki niyang problema sa drugs at ng diumanong “rebelyon”.  Sumunod sinabi rin niya, “ang pagdeklara ng batas militar ay contingency”.

Labanan ang muling pagbalot ng lagim ng malaganap na karahasan laban sa mamamayan at paglulubid ng batayan para sa higit na karahasan

Bumulwak ang malaganap na protesta sa panakaw na libing sa pinarangalang diktador. Pinanariwa nito ang bangungot ng diktadurang Marcos. Binuhay sa ala-ala ng marami ang mga pahirap at iba pang paglabag sa mga karapatan. Ang mga tinortyur at ikinulong noon ay nadaramang muli ang mga pasakit. Ang pag-uulit ni Duterte ng panawagang kalimutan na ang nakaraan at patawarin ang mga Marcos ay pang-iinsulto sa mamamayan.

Sa pagsusulong ng mga protesta hindi dapat mawala na pinatutungkulan din nito ang nagbabantang muling pagbalot ng lagim at karahasan. Huwag mawawaglit na umiiral hanggang ngayon ang “state of national emergency” na ipinataw sa bansa bunsod ng “lawless violence” sa “balwarte” ni Digong na Davao City. Kasama ng PNP ang AFP sa pagpapairal ng “state of emergency”. Kinokondisyon ang mamamayan sa mga “check point” at presensya ng mga “combat ready” na mga pulis at sundalo sa mga publikong lugar tulad sa mga istasyon ng LRT at MRT, mga terminal ng bus at mga pantalan at airport.

Minamanhid ang mamamayan sa araw-araw na pagpatay sa mga “suspek na drug user-pusher” at nakabilanggong “nagtangkang lumaban”. Tahasang sinasabi ni Duterte na wala siyang pagkilala sa human rights at itinuring na kaaway ang bawat magtanong, mag-iimbestiga o magpahayag ng opinyong kontra sa lumalaganap na extra-judicial killing at walang pakundangang paglabag sa due process.

Sa harap nito at sa kabila nito ay iniuulat ng PNP na nababawasan ang kriminalidad! Ano na kung gayon ang depinisyon nila ng kriminalidad? Inuulit-ulit ni Duterte ang malayo sa katotohanang “2-3 pulis ang napapatay sa bawat araw”.  Naglulubid si DOJ secretary Aguirre ng hindi mapapatunayan kaso laban sa mga “kaaway” nila sapagkat nakabatay sa affidavit ng patay na tao o bilanggong drug lord. Isasalang sa Kamara upang bago Pasko ay naibalik na ang “death penalty” at “naibaba na edad na 12 o 9 na taong gulang ang maaaring papanagutin sa kasong krimen”.  Ito ba ang pamasko ni Duterte sa bansa o para sa kanyang sarili?

Kasama ang bantang pagkakalas sa International Criminal Court (ICC), higit pa marahil ang kalagayang “pupuwersa” kay Duterte para “isuspinde ang writ of habeas corpus” at tumungo sa landas na kinahinatnan ng bayan sa ilalim ng paghahari ng kanyang dinadakilang diktador.

Maging alerto at huwag palalampasin ang bawat kontra-demokratiko at sadyang walang katinuang pakana ng kutsabaang Duterte-Marcos.

Huwag hayaang mapawi ang alaala ng malagim na nakaraan!

Mahigpit na hawakan, igiit at ipaglaban ang pagpapasya ng milyun-milyong mamamayang tumindig, nagpakasakit, lumaban hanggang nawakasan ang diktadurang Marcos!

Labanan ang panunumbalik sa kapangyarihan ng mga Marcos at panunumbalik ng tiraniya!

Sumulong sa pakikibaka para kamtin ang demokrasyang baya

Kaisaka – Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya

Nobyembre 21, 2016