Ushering in the March 8 International Women's Day Celebration

with a protest rally vs the Arroyo government


Negros Oriental


March 1, 2009






March 1, 2009

Gabriela-Negros commemoratesthe International Women's Day celebration on March 8, 2009 with a Women's Walk as an Opening Salvo. Among the issues bannered by Gabriela are the continued Violence Against Women, the economic crisis rooted on the misused of funds, graft and corruption in the government managements the using of SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth Funds for GMA's Stimulus Funds.

Gabriela-Negros believes that SSS Funds should benefit and foremost its beneficiaries instead.

Nenita L. Cherniguin
Acting Chairperson



Photos courtesy of Gabriela - Negros


News Release
28 February 2009

Reference: Emmi de Jesus, Secretary General, 371-2302 / 0917-3221203


"Junk the Visiting Forces Agreement" will be the resounding call of
GABRIELA on the days leading to March 8 International Women's Day.

"There is a growing public clamor for the scrapping of the VFA as the
Philippine and US governments adamantly refuse to heed the decision of
the Supreme Court to transfer detention of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith
within Philippine territory. There is no better time to unify and
heighten the call to junk the VFA and to stop the rape of our nation
than on March 8 Women's Day," said Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA secretary
general during a press conference this morning.

"GABRIELA was at the forefront in the fight against the VFA and in the
struggle for justice for Nicole. In the long list of crimes committed
by US servicemen against Filipinos – ranging back to when US military
bases were still present in our land – the lower court's decision to
convict Smith was the first to ever achieve a semblance of justice in

"We are enraged that the justice Filipinos achieved in Nicole's case
was taken away by a treacherous agreement between the RP and US
governments. We are enraged that the VFA subverts Philippine laws and
robbed the Filipinos of a hard-fought victory. We are enraged that the
Philippine government is shamelessly making a mockery of our nation's
dignity," added de Jesus.

De Jesus said that on the days leading to March 8, women will hound
both Houses, the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, the US Embassy
and Malacañang to demand the scrapping of the VFA.

"Unlike the traitor woman president in Malacañang, the militant women
of GABRIELA will fight for the dignity of Filipinos. Unlike the Arroyo
government who shamelessly relies on the US to defend our country,
patriotic women will defend our motherland from any form of foreign
incursion, which includes the VFA and the unequal relations between
the US and the Philippines, " said de Jesus.

The women's group said that aside from the 10,000 people it expects to
gather in Metro Manila for the March 8 rally, its regional and
pronvincial chapters will hold similar actions in key cities all over
the country. ###


March 8 invitation from GABRIELA
A national alliance of women's organizations

Dear sisters and friends,

Warmest greetings!

March 8 marks the annual International Women's Day, a time to celebrate women's unity in advancing women's rights and welfare, and to highlight various issues that women continue to confront. Every year since GABRIELA was founded in 1984, it has commemorated March 8 with women's actions that strive to include the widest possible participation of women.

This year, amidst the persistent economic and political crises besetting our nation, commemorating March 8 becomes another focal time for women to unite our voices, collectively fight for our lives and livelihood, and actively claim women's role in fighting alongside the rest of the people for the future of our nation.


This year's March 8 is particularly significant to us, as we also mark the 25th anniversary of GABRIELA. We thus want this March 8 to be a time for us to share with you the experiences and triumphs we have gained throughout the years and the continuing challenges that we face.


The March 8 women's action program will be held at Welcome Rotonda at the Quezon City-Manila border, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, followed immediately by a march to Mendiola, and then a main program at Mendiola from 12:00 to 2:00 PM. Speeches, cultural presentations and other forms of celebrating women's united struggle will run throughout the program.

We hope fervently that you can join us on March 8. Let women's united voices be heard resoundingly on this monumental day!

In sisterhood,


Chairperson Emeritus




News Release
03 March 2009

On the First Day of Women's Month

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 sectors.

“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