08 March 2009
For reference: Buhay Bangcawayan
Secretary-General, Tel. No.: (852) 97111673
“Gloria is no sister to Filipino women”
HK Pinays decry GMA’s ‘sabotage’ of rights and livelihood of Filipino
“Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo turned her back on Nicole and upheld VFA,
unleashed state violence against women activists, and implemented policies
that do not help us cope with the current crisis but instead put us in a
worse situation. GMA is definitely no sister to Filipino women in the
Philippines and abroad."
This was declared today by Buhay Bangcawayan, secretary-general of
Gabriela Women’s Party in Hong Kong (GWP-HK) as hundreds of Filipino women
marched to the Philippine Consulate General carrying demands for genuine
economic relief and protection of migrant’s rights, a stop to
state-sponsored violence against women as well as scrapping of the
Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The action was part of the Gabriela-led
actions in the Philippines and elsewhere to commemorate the International
“Throughout her term, GMA has done nothing but sabotage the rights of
Filipino women in the Philippines and overseas. While Filipino women are
reeling from job loss, wage reduction and more economic and social
displacement, GMA implements her ‘economic sabotage package’ that further
commodifies women and puts them in a condition vulnerable to abuses,
exploitation and violence,” she remarked.
Bangcawayan pointed out that the various policies implemented by the GMA
government to OFWs were all geared towards making women OFWs more
marketable, deprive them of needed services and protection, and milk women
OFW dry through government charges.
GWP-HK listed down overcharging of recruitment agencies and the negligible
services that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) as the
crucial concerns of women OFWs amid the present financial crisis.
“Instead of curbing overcharging, we now have the POEA guidelines that
added training as one more dubious fee for OFWs and the ban on direct
hiring that forces us to deal with unscrupulous recruiters. Meanwhile,
OWWA is still guided by its Omnibus Policies that cut many of its direct
services to OFWs and open up the OWWA fund for GMA’s arbitrary use,” she
Bangcawayan said that OFWs are worried that the P330B package of the
government will be taken from OWWA and other people’s funds like the SSS
and the GSIS.
“This government is the epitome of apathy and hypocrisy and would
implement anything with impunity to serve its own interest,” the GWP
On top of the ‘economic sabotage’ , Bangcawayan said that the continued
servility of the GMA government to US especially to its military programs
has sanctioned the violence against women of the so-called war on terror
of the US. These, she said, included the rape and abuses committed by US
troops under the Balikatan joint exercises and the GMA government’s very
own Oplan Bantay-Laya that has victimized civilians, many of whom are
“The fate of Nicole, raped by a US serviceman who now goes practically
scot-free, is what Filipino women face under the VFA. Meanwhile, the
recent murder of Rebelyn Pitao, a school teacher in Mindanao, by suspected
military elements has made it clear that state fascism and disrespect to
women’s civil and political rights persist,” she added.
Bangcawayan said that the demand of women in the Philippines for justice
to Nicole, Hazel (a Filipina raped by a US military man Japan) and to
Rebelyn and other murdered and disappeared women activists is echoed by
women OFWs in Hong Kong.
“GMA has no right to even identify herself with today’s commemoration
because she has never served the interest of the oppressed Filipino women.
The International Women’s Day is historic for it showed the militance of
women in our struggle for rights. GMA is a target of this continuing
resistance,” she concluded.#