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. ###


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!


Broadcasting Misogyny and Abuse in Congress: A Mockery of (In) Justice KAISA KA Reacts to Hearings Probing De Lima Links to Drug Trade



As an organization of grassroots women who are believe that women must be empowered fully in order to harness our full potential towards nation-building, Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan or KAISA KA are deeply disturbed by what is the rise in rise of abusive behavior online and offline directed towards women.


The first, spilling out from well-oiled online machinery favoring the  Duterte administration, young women who were part of the recent anti-Marcos protests were subjected to unprecedented levels of bullying and even rape threats.


And the second, spearheaded by allies in Congress who have hijacked the purpose of Committee Hearings that was to probe De Lima’s links to the drug trade in aid of legislation into a venue to pry open, parade, prod and mock the private life of a lady senator.


The recent hearings- shows the solons being “ charlatans”, “sexist” and “misogynists”, dwelling and playing on De Lima’s affair with Dayan.


Principled solons may have been able to block the showing of the alleged sex video of Senator De Lima, but just looked on as the line of questioning towards former bodyguard Ronie Dayan degenerated to a mockery of a hearing.


The law makers have now become the law breakers themselves using the venue to oppress and violate women. The human rights and women’s rights advocates in the Congress should have not allowed the “oppressive questioning” and “malicious innuendos” attack De Lima’s person.


End the Abuse and Violence

Three courageous Milabel sisters of the Dominican Republic who opposed then fascist Dictator General Rafael Turillo were assassinated in November 25, 1960 and in whose honor the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was declared back in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Had De Lima been a man, it would have been entirely different, an exact opposite situation. All the more that we should be alarmed and oppose at all cost– this is state –initiated violence.

Let us remember that a violation done to one woman is a violation that can be done to all. ###

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


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

Martial Law: A Living Scar. Move On? Oh, C’mon!

Jade P. Leung
Young Women Initiatives
August 15, 2016
martial law
One cannot simply say “move on”. While we are having chocolates and candies, our grandparents and parents got a declaration of Martial Law.
It is hard to stomach people who can easily say “forgive the Marcoses”; “past is past”; “learn to forgive”; “forgive him and bury him in the LNMB”; “he deserves to be buried in LNMB”; and the resounding and insulting phrase this generation easily can say: “move on…”.
To a person accustomed to privilege, true equality feels like oppression, doesn’t it?
The Martial Law issue is not an easy issue of forgiveness, let alone “forgive and forget” issue.  Read more…