03 March 2009
On the First Day of Women's Month
BabaLa! SHOO(E)S GMA AWAY
From expensive high-heeled shoes to the lowly rubber slippers, women threw
their footwear at the photograph of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to
signify their protest against the corruption and the planned charter
change of the current administration.
“In the years Arroyo spent in Malacañang, she has proven herself a more
and more a shame to Filipinas as she and her family plunder the wealth of
our nation and destroy the last remnants of democracy. Nakakahiya ang
epidemya ng korupsyon na ikinakalat ng nakakahiyang pangulo,” said former
Senator Leticia Shahani, convenor of Babae Laban sa Katiwalian (BabaLa!)
which led the protest action at Mendiola Bridge this morning.
“Mabuti pang naka-paa pero marangal at matapat kaysa naka-sapatos ngunit
korap at mandaraya,” said Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, Faculty Regent of the
University of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the militant women's group GABRIELA, slammed the government's
inaction on what they term as the “continuing rape of women and the nation
by the US military.”
“Any self-respecting government would be affronted by the US government’s
impertinence in coddling its soldiers who rape Filipinas. But the Arroyo
government, lacking in respect for our country’s sovereignty as it is,
does not even want to fight back and reclaim our nation’s dignity,” said
Emmi de Jesus, Gabriela secretary general and convenor of BabaLa!
The women's group refers to the continued custody of the US Embassy of
L/Cpl. Daniel Smith, the US soldier found guilty of raping a Filipina in
2005 and the recent dismissal of the rape charges against Spec. Ronald
Hopstock, who was accused of raping “Hazel,” a 22-year old Filipina
migrant worker raped three days after arriving in Okinawa, Japan in
February of last year.
“Ang masahol pa sa paa ay kailangang sapatusin, said actor/writer/director
Bibeth Orteza, also a convenor of BabaLa! who has been very vocal against
the continuing leadership of Arroyo who she said, “just gives negative
example how to destroy the moral fibers of a society.”
“There is no better way to start women's month than to express our utter
disgust at Arroyo and this is just the first,” said Dr. Sylvia dela Paz,
another convenor of BabaLa!
BabaLa! said they will be joining the protest action of Gabriela on March
8 International Women's Day and will link arms with women from other
“Women must fight to oust Gloria because Filipinos deserve better than
this current government. “Women say no to the death of Philippine
democracy and no to GMA's charter change,” concluded Shahani.###
BabaLa! Convenors :: Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani | Ms. Bibeth Orteza | Rep.
Liza Largoza Maza | Rep. Luzviminda C. Ilagan | Ms. Marichu Maceda | Ms.
Marietta Goco, Magnificat Movement | Prof. Judy M. Taguiwalo, UP AWARE |
Dr. Rose Torres-Yu, UP Diliman College of Arts and Letters | Dean Connie
Paz, UP Diliman | Prof. Natsy Verceles, UP CSWCD | Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA
| Amina Rasul | Dra. Sylvia dela Paz, Alliance of Health Workers | Atty.
Evalyn G. Ursua | Atty. Alnie Foja | Atty. Claire Padilla | Annete Visbal,
EnGendeRights | Tess Caseñas, AMRSP Women and Gender Commission | Zeny La,
Women Crisis Center | Jojo Guan, Center for Women's Resources | Evelyn
Muallil, WOMEN MARCH! |Rechilda Extremadura, Lila Pilipina | Nerissa
Guerrero, SAMAKANA | Malou Jarabe, INSA, Miriam College | Nikki Gamara,
Sigma Delta Pi Sorority-UP Manila | Camz Marquina, Sigma Delta Pi
Sorority-UP Manila | Catherine Dela Rosa, Manila Collegian | Joan de
Castro, UP Manila Tagamasid | Shahana Abdulwahid, UP Office of the Student
Regent | Fahima Tajar, STAND-UP | Regiene Pangahas, UP Diliman | Connie
Bragas Regalado, Migrante International | Lucy Francisco, GABRIELA-Panay &
Guimaras | Lana Linaban, GABRIELA | Cristina Palabay, Gabriela Women's
Party | Joms Salvador, GABRIELA | Esmeralda Macaspac, SALINLAHI Alliance
for Children's Concerns | Gert Ranjo-Libang, GABRIELA