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. ###

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SOS for our KAISA KA Fire Survivors

parola-fireparola-fire2

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.

Respectfully,

(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:

 

PESO ACCOUNT

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

 

DOLLAR ACCOUNT

Account Number:106930026351                         

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

Swift Code: BDO-BNORPHMM

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!

women-victims

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.

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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!