"GMA behind attacks on rights of progressives" - GWP
Press Release Posted on February 8th, 2010.
Shiela Ferrer, GABRIELA NCR Chair and Gabriela Women's Party Nominee
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
legitimate organizations.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.”
In 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,” concluded Ferrer.
GABRIELA and GWP is set to hold a protest action against political
harassment at the Department of National Defense tomorrow. #
Gabriela Women's Party Women lawyers, academicians, religious, and other
professionals formed WRIT as an alliance to resist the culture of impunity
and tyranny, and to frustrate Arroyo's desperate attempts to cling to
Gabriela Women's Party's Photos - Women Resist Against Impunity and