“GMA behind attacks on rights of progressives”
09 February 2010
Reference: Shiela Ferrer, GABRIELA NCR Chair and Gabriela Women's Party
“GMA behind attacks on rights of progressives” - GWP
Gabriela Women's Party is enraged at the heightening political repression
and harassment in the country at the eve of the start of official campaign
period for the May elections. The group said that the current
administration under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in undoubtedly
behind the recent arrests and harassment of leaders and members of
Last Saturday, 43 health workers, 26 of whom are women, were illegally
arrested in Morong, Rizal and continues to be detained and denied their
civil rights for visitation and legal counsel.
Earlier, Ira Pamat, executive director of Women's Development Center (WDC)
based in Tagbilaran, Bohol was threatened and harassed when the 2nd SF
Battalion maliciously reported in a local newspaper that Pamar is a part
of a certain District White Area Committee (DWAC), supposedly a structure
of the underground CPP-NPA.
The military cited intelligence report that it has “monitored the meeting
of the Women’s Development Center in the afternoon of Jan. 9, at Sitio
Taytay, in Brgy. Montesuerte, Carmen”. The meeting they referred to was
actually a voters education on the automated election system being
conducted by WDC.
“Pamat and WDC, like the health workers arrested in Tanay, render direct
services to the people which the Arroyo government completely fail to
deliver. It is simply enraging that they should be subjected to such
violations,” said Shiela Ferrer, GABRIELA NCR chairperson and Gabriela
Women's Party nominee.
GWP noted that prior to the 2007 elections, Liezl Cunado, a staff of WDC
and member of GABRIELA, was brutally killed at the height of
extra-judicial killings linked to the current administration's Oplan
Bantay Laya counter-insurgency campaign.
“We see here a grand design by the state with the help of the AFP to
harass into silence the progressive organizations, especially members of
party lists critical to the Arroyo administration,” said Ferrer.
Ferrer added that leaders and members of local chapters of GABRIELA and
Gabriela Women's Party in NCR are also being harassed by soldiers deployed
in communities under the Civil Military Operations of the AFP.
“Our leaders and members suffer, like Ira, are being harassed in their
own commuties as well,” said Ferrer.
“This renewed and intensified political repression and harassments is
nothing new but we believe this time, the attacks against the people's
rights will be more severe Arroyo grows more desperate to cling to power.
These moves are the government's rapacious way of sending thinly veiled
threat to the people not to support progressive groups
which the administration considers a major threat to Arroyo's clear plan
to remain in power beyond June 30.”
On the first day of the campaign period today, Gabriela Women's Party
launched Purple Change, a women's campaign for livelihood, social justice
and change. ““We will not be daunted. We will advance our legitimate and
valid cause to address the interests and welfare of women and the people
whether in the streets or in the parliament,”
GABRIELA and GWP is set to hold a protest action against political
harassment at the Department of National Defense tomorrow. #
November 24, 2009
In time of ‘International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women’ on
Gabriela Women’s Party slams election-related killings,
rape of women in Maguindanao massacre
Reference: Ms. Sheila Azucena Ferrer
Gabriela Women’s Party Third Nominee | Gabriela Women’s Party-NCR
Gabriela Women’s Party – National Capital Region (GWP-NCR) today slams the
election-related massacre in Buluan, Maguindanao province on Monday
resulting 44 deaths. The group further sends its strongest condemnation
over rape cases and killings of almost 21 women including Atty. Connie
Brizuela of Gabriela-Davao in time of the upcoming commemoration of the
‘International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women (VAW)’ tomorrow,
In a ‘Women’s Caravan against Violence on Women’ today, members of GWP-NCR
urges government to immediately conduct determined investigation that must
resolve and prosecute culprits and masterminds of this most dreadful act
of violence, especially to women, lawyers and media men. They said that
such probe must be fair and impartial considering that the primary
suspect, Mayor Datu Unsay Ampatuan is a known staunch ally and supporter
of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
‘Gangsterism and warlordism all over the country, that have caused such
gruesome and barbaric acts executed towards our brothers and sisters in
Maguindanao, must end in the soonest possible time if we do not want to
witness more violence as the election fever further heats-up in the days
to come,’ says Sheila Azucena Ferrer, third nominee and NCR
secretary-general of GWP.
Ferrer added, ‘Aside from the killers, even local police and military
officials must also be held liable due to their neglect in safeguarding
its people considering that National Defense continues to receive major
portion of the national budget.’
The GWP-NCR made such statements as they tour around key cities and
municipalities of Metro Manila today. After their programs at Monumento,
Quezon City Hall and Liwasang Bonifacio in the City of Manila, groups
culminated their activities today in a program at the Department of
National Defense today to further register their indignation.
Moreover, GWP-NCR also stresses that for the longest time, women were the
most to suffer violence, abuse and exploitation. Far worse than the
state-initiated brutality against women, the group said that the rising
number of gender-based violence has become alarming due to the sharp rise
of cases of sexual and domestic abuses. The past five years of passage of
the Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Law
is also said failed in addressing and resolving abuses over women and
Based on the records of the group, one battered woman is being reported
every one hour and fifty minutes while one battered child in every one
hour and twenty-six minutes. Meanwhile, one woman is being raped every
seven hours and thirty minutes and one girl child is being raped every two
hours. One woman is also said to be sexually harassed every eighteen hours
and fifty minutes while one sexually harassed child is being reported
every nine hours.
‘These data must serve as an eye-opener to the Arroyo administration and
to her successors as well to strictly implement all existing laws for our
women,’ says Ferrer.
Aside from discouraging them to use violence in the coming elections, we
also urge all 2010 hopefuls to bare their platforms on how can they
safeguard and protect the basic human rights of our women so that they
will no longer face violence against their ranks,’ Ferrer ended. ###
GABRIELA National Alliance of Women in the Philipppines
Address: 35 Scout Delgado Street Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City 1103
Telefax: (632) 3744423, (632) 3712302