Celebrating International Women's Day 2015


Assembly and Program at the Bonifacio Shrine, Manila 

March to Mendiola  ■  Rally and program at Mendiola

■  Regional celebrations (under construction)


March 8, 2015





March 9, 2015

Women from different sectors held protest actions in Manila and other major cities in the country under the banner of GABRIELA, the largest women's organization in the Philppines. They reiterated their call for truth and justice for the Mamasapano victims and demand for Aquino's resignation.

“Our demand for Aquino's resignation is not just about his failure in Mamasapano but everything about the failure of his presidency to serve the interest of the people and uplift the situation of women. In his 5 years in power, he served the interests of the US and big businesses despite the fact that women and their families are already deep into poverty,” said Joms Salvador, Secretary General of GABRIELA. She cited the rise of poverty incidence to 25.8%, amounting to a quarter of the population.

The group paraded a large effigy of Pres. Aquino perched in a drone emphasizing the US' role in in Mamasapano and the drone, in turn, is perched on board the USS Pelleliu to symbolize the violence that women experience as a result of US intervention in the Philippines.

Earlier at daybreak, members of GABRIELA trooped to Camp Crame to give support and express solidarity with the widows of Mamasapano in their quest for truth and justice for their loved ones in the activity tagged as “Walk With Widows, Run for Heroes” led by Philippine National Police Alumni.

“International Women's Day provides a platform for all women to express their issues and demands as one voice,” Salvador said. “The widows of Mamasapano are fighting for a legitimate issue – truth and justice – and we are standing with them in this fight.”

The mobilization in the capital is just one of the many Women's Day actions led by GABRIELA in different cities in the country and abroad. A total of 25,000 people, mostly women, are expected to join the actions nationwide, with Metro Manila accounting for half of the total.

Aside from Metro Manila, International Women's Day protests are also ongoing in major cities like Baguio City, Angeles City, Tuguegarao City, Calamba, Batangas, Daet, Naga City, Masbate, Legazpi City, Sorsogon City, Iloilo City, Roxas City, Tacloban City, Bacolod City and Davao City. GABRIELA overseas chapters in the US East and West Coasts, Australia and Hongkong also spearheaded protest actions today. ###





By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

Marching for authentic change

As of this writing, two marches are taking place on the 8th of March. One is the annual celebration of International Women’s Day led by the militant women of Gabriela with the spotlight on the critical role of women in the struggle against the beleaguered US-backed Aquino regime in order to put in its place a more competent, accountable and democratic government. The other is the “March for Justice for SAF 44” organized by the alumni association of the Philippine National Police Academy with its tangential reference to women through a call for solidarity with the widows of the SAF commandoes slain in the ill-fated police operation codenamed Oplan Exodus .

The latter march is noteworthy not just for its novelty but its portent for the status quo and the regime that presides over it; a significant section of the state’s security forces remains restive over what they deem to be the unnecessary sacrifice of forty-four of their comrades. Too bad one of the organizers, a Catholic priest who runs as a means to espouse his favored causes, is reported by mass media as already succumbing to intrigues that predict the failure of the policemen’s march because of the unwelcome participation of “leftists” and those with a “political agenda”. (Someone should advise these well-meaning “mamang pulis”, who have been thrust into the unusual role of citizens with a grievance by no less than their Commander-in-Chief, to not get sidelined by attempts to confuse, gag and otherwise rein them in.)

On the other hand, the women’s yearly march is being held in the midst of the Aquino regime’s worst political crisis in the aftermath of a foreign-hatched, ill-conceived and subsequently botched counterterrorist operation that has cost the lives of 62 combatants and 6 civilians, several more seriously wounded, and the fragile peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) severely, if not irreparably, damaged.

The bloody Mamasapano clash has punctuated and pretty much exacerbated Aquino’s record of disastrous leadership from the Luneta hostage crisis, Zamboanga siege, the inept relief and rehabilitation post-Yolanda typhoon and other calamities, pork barrel and patronage politics, MRT mishaps and the breakdown of public infrastructure and services, to name a few. Thus calls for his resignation or ouster have been gaining a lot of traction in a surprisingly short span of time.

The struggle for women’s liberation, specifically in the Philippine setting, is firmly embedded in the continuing struggle of the Filipino people for national and social liberation from neocolonial and feudal shackles. This Sunday, the women’s march will be celebrating the glorious history of courageous women all over the world taking their place, alongside the menfolk, in the place of honor – the line of fire.

They are challenging sexual stereotypes and gender oppression in the context of class structures of oppression and exploitation. In the Philippines, they are fighting against a moribund social system perpetuated by the domestic ruling elite in partnership with foreign, notably US, imperialist interests. This system has been installing and propping up a series of reactionary, deceptive and repressive regimes since the grant of nominal self-rule. The regime of Benigno S. Aquino III is no exception.

Gabriela and the broader Women for Aquino’s Resignation Now (WARN) will be joined by the multisectoral formation Noynoy Out Now (NOW). NOW is demanding not just Aquino’s removal from office but the establishment of an interim People’s Council for National Unity, Reform and Peace that will “lead the transition to a new and better government…that better responds to the people’s clamor for political, economic and social reforms.” NOW says categorically, “It cannot be business as usual.” Thus the group rejects turning power over to the constitutionally mandated succession, i.e. to the incumbent Vice President, for the remainder of Aquino’s term.

It is premature at this point to name “who” will take over the helm of government. NOW asserts that the People’s Council will be formed “through a democratic process, from the wide array of organizations, groups and individuals involved in the movement to compel Aquino’s resignation.” NOW believes that there are more than enough “patriotic Filipinos with a track record of leadership in the people’s movement for democratic reforms, with known probity, integrity and independence” who can step up the plate and lead at the proper time.

What is important are the urgent reform measures that such a caretaker or transitional government will undertake in the short time it is envisioned to govern -- one to two years. According to NOW, these are: 1) create an independent Truth Commission to investigate and prosecute those accountable for the Mamasapano fiasco; 2) undertake electoral reforms to prevent cheating and fraud, reduce patronage politics and prohibit political dynasties; 3) abolish the pork barrel system and prosecute those responsible for the DAP and the PDAF scams; 4) introduce key economic policies to ensure food sufficiency, land reform, national industrialization, jobs, higher incomes and basic social services for the poor and middle class; 5) review lop-sided agreements such as the Visiting Forces Agreement and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA); 6) pursue peace negotiations with the MILF and NDFP by honoring agreements and addressing the root causes of the armed conflicts.

Filipinos have gone through two successful people’s uprisings dubbed “people power” that have brought about a change in regimes but sorely failed in reforming, if not overhauling, a backward, undemocratic, unjust and corrupt social order. In the meantime the status quo is being weakened by socio-economic decay and rocked by social unrest, deadly infighting among factions of the ruling elite and armed conflicts with the communist-led revolutionary movement and Moro secessionist movements.

Even the ruling classes and their foreign backers know that the system is bursting apart at the seams and thus the opposing factions jostle each other to take the mantle of “reforming” the system while ensuring things remain essentially the same for as long as possible.

There is understandable pessimism or even cynicism among the middle forces (those for whom the system has still something to offer, if not a bright future, then a tolerable one) that another stab at reform via “people power” will only lead to more disorder and instability. They are suspicious and leery of opportunists among the so-called Opposition or among the military who may simply wish to grab power. The politically conservative also fear the “militant Left”.

Those among our people whose lives have gone from bad to worse on a daily basis and whose futures are as bleak as ever will embrace the window of opportunity for changing the system that accompanies removing an inept, uncaring and anti-people president like BS Aquino. For they having nothing to lose and much to gain once organized to push for authentic and meaningful societal change. #

Published in Business World
9 March 2015

Bonifacio Shrine, Manila


REP. EMMI A. DE JESUS 0917.3221203
Ed Atadero (Public Information Officer) Globe 0915.1439219 or Sun

8 March 2015
For immediate release

Gabriela stands with Mamasapano widows on International Women’s Day

As women’s rights movements all over the world prepare for marking International Working Women’s Day in 24 times zones today, the Gabriela Women’s Party gets a headstart this morning in a solidarity action in front of Camp Crame . Representative Emmi De Jesus and Luz Ilagan joined women leaders of various laying wreaths of flowers and candles in memory of SAF 44 and other Filipinos who were killed after a botched operation in Mamasapano.

The group expressed their solidarity in t-shirts and flaglets with the message “ We stand with the widows and women for truth and justice”.

“Nakikiisa ang Gabriela sa mga biyuda ng SAF44, at nauunawaan namin ang kanilang pakiramdam sa mailap na katotohan at hustisya dahil sa mga maniobra na ginagawa ng mismong Pangulo ng bansa. Nais naming iparating na ang mga kababaihan ng Gabriela ay patuloy nilang magiging katuwang sa paglaban sa pagtatago ng katotohanan at pagkakamit ng pananagutan.” De Jesus said.

Congresswoman Ilagan meanwhile said that GWP chapters in key cities are also joning different actions for truth, justice and accountability. “Aquino’s culpability is clear. As commander in chief, not only did he subject the SAF troops to a US-designed suicide mission to arrest Marwan, he also now holds accountability for ordering the all-out offensive that has resulted to the displacement of more than 54,000 individuals in Mindanao.”

Later in the afternoon, thousands of women and women’s rights advocates are massing in Manila and march to Malacanang, and press once more for Aquino’s immediate resignation. ###
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women's Party
"Babae, Bata, at Bayan.... Tuloy ang Laban!"
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women's Party
"Babae, Bata, at Bayan.... Tuloy ang Laban!"




08 March 2015

For Reference: REP. LUZVIMINDA C ILAGAN 0920-9213221
REP. EMMI DE JESUS 0917-3221203
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119


“Ang isang araw pa sa Malacanang ay isang araw pa ng inhustisya. Tama na, sobra na, Aquino mag-resign ka na, people’s transition council itatag na!”

This is the resounding cry of women gathered in the Philippines today, March 8, to commemorate International Women’s Day.

Partylist Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus joined protesters gathered at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila calling for President Aquino to step down, demanding full accountability for what they dubbed as Aquino’s crimes against Filipino women.

“Lalong tumindi ang kahirapan sa ilalim ng panunungkulan ni Aquino. Ang matinding kahirapan ay resulta ng kriminal na kapabayaan ng gubyernong ito sa kapakanan ng nakararaming kababaihan at pamilyang Pilipino. The government’s bias towards big business infiltration in the delivery of basic social services has resulted to the deprivation of Filipino women,” said De Jesus.

Ilagan who hails from Mindanao decried what she dubbed as Aquino’s blood-stained hands. “Aquino’s culpability is clear. As commander in chief, not only did he subject the SAF troops to a US-designed suicide mission to arrest Marwan, he also now holds accountability for ordering the all-out offensive that has resulted to the displacement of more than 54,000 individuals in Mindanao.”

The women’s partylist group also took Aquino to task for unemployment, landlesseness and slave-level wages amid increasing cost of food and basic commodities.

“Aquino’s governance is a disaster and the promises of Aquino’s Daang Matuwid are all hogwash. It has become imperative for women to demand his resignation and in his stead, place a people’s transition council that will pave the way for much needed reforms that will give women respite from the destitution and poverty that we are now subjected to.”#


[Attachment(s) from Luz Ilagan included below]
07 March 2015

For Reference: REP. LUZVIMINDA C ILAGAN 0920-9213221
REP. EMMI DE JESUS 0917-3221203
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119


“Mas maraming kababaihang naghihirap, mas maraming nagugutom habang iniyayabang na nadagdagan ang iilang Pilipinong naisama sa listahan ng pinakamayayamang bilyonaryo sa buong mundo. Clearly, the scandalous inequality has worsened and the gap between rich and poor Filipino families has become wider under President Aquino.”

Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda C. Ilagan at the eve of International Women’s Day who also said that it was President Aquino’s Private-Public Partnership (PPP) programs that have made the lives of Filipino women even more miserable. “Women hold President Aquino responsible for the worsening poverty incidence in the country. It is his corrupt and inept governance that has led women to such disastrous state.”

“Aquino’s PPP has deprived more women and children of basic social services with the intrusion of private business interests in public hospitals, housing projects and state colleges and universities. At the same time it is also Aquino’s PPP policy that helped further boost the finances of eight Filipino families that figured in the Forbes list of top billionaires.”

Ilagan cited the study made by the Center for Women’s Resources which showed Henry Sy’s Megawide corporation as the recipient for the privatization of the National Orthopedic Center as well as various school infrastructure projects under the PPP. Lucio Tan was awarded the Mactan-Cebu airport project while Enrique Razon was awarded the Tagum port project thru the ICTSI. Andrew Tan, John Gokongwei, Jr. David Consunji, the Aboitiz family and the Zobel de Ayala families also received PPP projects.

“This is but one of the many reasons why women want President Aquino to resign. Tomorrow, March 8, International Women’s Day, Filipino women will be marching all over the country to call for Aquino’s resignation and put in his stead, a People’s Council.” #




International Release
8 March 2015

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, ILPS Philippines Chairperson, 0908-1636597

International Women's Day marked by militant protest

MANILA. The Philippines Chapter of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS-Phils) marked International Women's Day with militant groups led by the local women's alliance Gabriela.

With Pres. Aquino refusing to own up to his responsibility for the US-supported Mamasapano operations which left 44 police commandos and at least two dozen more dead, Gabriela joined disgruntled policemen in a march from Camp Crame to the Quezon Memorial Circle and held its own program and rally from the Bonifacio Shrine to Mendiola facing the Presidential Palace.

Results of the Police Board of Inquiry and Senate investigations on the incident are expected to be released this week but militant groups are wary of a whitewash.

"The US embassy officially disowned having drones when eyewitnesses spotted them for days before and during the operations. President Aquino follows up with his own denials despite damaging proof beyond doubt of his complicity. Official editing of the investigation results cannot hide the truth," ILPS-Phils Chair Elmer Labog said.

"Today, we hold the US-Aquino regime accountable for the grave inequalities and misery suffered by Filipino women. This regime has produced widows, orphans and exploited women at home and abroad," Labog said.

The ILPS-Phils said that the International Women's Day was first held in 1909 in remembrance of a worker's strike and to demand the 8-hour working-day and equality for women.

"We join women of the world in seeking genuine emancipation from the intensifying exploitation and oppression under imperialism and local reaction," the ILPS-Phils stated.

"In the Philippines, we march with the Philippine revolutionary legacy of Gabriela who fought colonialism and the modern-day Gabrielas who are fighting imperialism and neocolonial rule represented by the US-Aquino regime."###

Philippine Chapter

Office Address:
2/F IBON Center, 114 Timog Avenue
Quezon City 1103, PHILIPPINES
Tel: +63 2 9277062
E-mail: ilps.phils@gmail.com
Website: www.ilps-phils.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ILPSPhils
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ILPS_Phils


Program at the Bonifacio Shrine


GABRIELA-Southern Tagalog

08 March 2015

Leona Entena
Gabriela-Southern Tagalog
Contact No: 0929.8380.760

Women of Southern Tagalog to assert truth & accountability;
call out Aquino’s resignation

Southern Tagalog chapter of militant women’s organization GABRIELA is set to lead today’s commemoration of the International Working Women’s Day in Crossing Calamba today.

Leona Entena, chairperson of Gabriela ST, said that in addition to celebrating gains and triumphs of the women’s movement, today’s women’s day commemoration will highlight the collective voice of women calling for accountability in the Mamasapano tragedy and demand for President Aquino’s resignation.

“"While we recognize the significant gains the women sector has won over the years, we also deem it necessary to strengthen our ranks amid continued injustice and poverty that have worsened the conditions of women. We are one with the nation in calling for Aquino's immediate resignation on account of his failed leadership with the Mamasapano tragedy and cover-up being the latest in a long list of acts of betrayal and disservice to the Filipino people!"

Many other organizations will be joining Gabriela in the commemoration program which shall feature cultural presentations and briefing on the situation of the state of women’s rights and empowerment in the region as experiencedin the labor, agriculture, education, and cultural sector, among others.

Entena stressed the need for women to remember and continue the revolutionary tradition of Filipino women as exemplified by ladies like like Gabriela Silang who led the anti-colonial revolution during the Spanish period.

“New forms of oppression and exploitation continue to make the lives of many women doubly difficult and it is for this reason that we encourage our sisters to link arms with one another and rise against injustice,” Entena said.

A women’s solidarity march will start from various points at 2:00 pm and will converge in Crossing Calamba for the program at 3:00pm.

International Working Women’s Day celebration was brought forth by a series of protest actions led by socialist working women in the demanding equal rights, labor rights and women’s suffrage, among others. Today’s celebration is the 103rd.

For more info, contact: 0948.113.48.60

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March to Mendiola


Media Release
08 March 2015

Workers join Women’s Day protest, call for Aquino’s resignation

Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno joined today’s International Women’s Day protests and called for Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s immediate resignation, saying the chief executive should be held responsible for masterminding the January 25 operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

The labor group, which in Manila joined the march from Bonifacio Shrine near the Manila City Hall to Mendiola, also said that Aquino has caused greater exploitation and suffering to poor and working-class women.

“We poor and working-class women march today to call for Aquino’s immediate resignation. He has consistently upheld the interests of the US government over that of Filipinos, of big capitalists over that of workers,” said Nitz Gonzaga, KMU vice-chairperson for women’s affairs.

The labor leader said the Mamasapano operation is just the latest in the long list of Aquino’s crimes to the Filipino people which stem from his puppetry to the US amidst the latter’s “Pivot to Asia” thrust.

She said Aquino has pushed for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement’s approval; allowed the uhampered entry of US war ships into the country; and sided with the US government on the killing of Jennifer Laude, the destruction of a portion of the Tubbataha Reef, and the dumping of toxic wastes into the country’s seas.

“Aquino has exceeded his predecessors when it comes to puppetry to the US government’s dictates. He has repeatedly undermined the country’s sovereignty and it is unsurprising that he carried out the US government’s policy of assassinating suspected terrorists in Mamasapano,” Gonzaga added.

KMU also said that Aquino has further pressed down workers’ wages by launching more attacks against the minimum wage and has further promoted contractual employment among private- and public-sector workers.

“Under Aquino, the real value of workers’ wages have become less, and the number of contractuals has increased. He has increased the burden carried by workers and the poor, and therefore of poor and working-class women,” Gonzaga stated.

KMU, together with organizations of workers and employees in both the private and public sectors under the All Workers’ Unity broad campaign network, is calling for the implementation of a National Minimum Wage in the amount of P16,000 monthly and the banning of contractual employment.

Reference: Nitz Gonzaga, KMU vice-chair for women’s affairs, 0928-2794241



KAPAYAPAAN-Southern Tagalog

08 March 2015

Rev. Gil Sediarin
KAPAYAPAN-Southern Tagalog
Contact No: 0929.599.30.84

On International Women’s Day: S.Tagalog Peace Advocates Run in Solidarity with Families of ‘Mamasapano’ Victims

As the nation celebrates International Women’s Day, peace advocates led by peace alliance, KAPAYAPAAN-Southern Tagalog today expressed support and solidarity to the families, in particular the widows and children of the botched Mamasapano clash victims through a symbolic run for solidarity amidst the lack of accountability in the US-led covert operations. The group also voiced out their support to the calls of women’s groups for Noynoy Aquino’s ouster.

“As we celebrate Women’s Day, we sympathize with the mothers, the wives and children of the SAF 44, the MILF fighters, and civilians among other victims of the failed Mamasapano carnage who until now are seeking answers and closure to the case. Despite the so-called investigations and inquiries, it seems that justice remains elusive given the failed attempts at cover up and whitewashing to save Noynoy Aquino and his US government masters”, said Rev. Gil Sediarin of KAPAYAPAAN-ST.

The group held a simultaneous solidarity run in Sta. Rosa City and in Cavite ahead of the regional commemoration of International Women’s Day in Calamba City. A vigil and candle lighting ceremony was also held last night.

Earlier this week, GABRIELA-Southern Tagalog already trooped to Metro Manila to register their united call for truth and accountability demanding Aquino’s ouster. They also vowed to heighten their campaign until Noynoy steps down from Malacanang.

“We demand that Noynoy Aquino be held responsible, along with the US government for purposely for orchestrating the covert and failed operation that resulted to the unnecessary deaths of fighters and civilians. Despite efforts of Aquino and his cohorts to whitewash the investigation, the facts points to him and the US as the brains behind the mishandling that altogether lefts dozens of widows and children orphaned”, Sediarin said.

The group also hit Aquino’s ‘all-out war’ against the rebels which forced thousands of families to evacuate and effectively became internal refugees. Citing media reports that indicate that the ground and air attacks were conducted in civilian communities said to be BIFF lairs, the group said that this only caused much trauma among children and women.

“It is ironic for Aquino to push for his peace agenda in Mindanao on one hand while allowing an all-out war on the other, while intensifying its counter-insurgency measures and militarization”, he said.

Meanwhile, they also hit the government’s claim to fame for a ‘booming economy’ while ordinary Filipinos, including women still wallow in hunger and poverty”, Sediarin ended.

For more info, Contact: 0948.113.48.60



March 8, 2015
Reference: Sol Pillas, Secretary-General, 0922-9092792

20 years after Flor Contemplacion’s death
More women OFWs abused, exploited and enslaved under Aquino’s term

On International Women’s Day, Migrante International gives tribute to all Filipina migrant workers who continue to fight against abuses and exploitation, and stand in solidarity with them in the struggle against forced migration and modern-day slavery being espoused by the Aquino administration’s more aggressive labor export policy.

Under the administration of Pres. Aquino, more women overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been forced to migrate and leave their families. An estimated 6,092 Filipinos leave the country daily (IBON Foundation, 2015 data) – among them, mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, grandparents who were forced to face dire straits and uncertain conditions abroad due to widespread joblessness, landlessness and dismal social services here in the country. This figure is an increase of 50% percent from 4,030 OFWs a day in 2010, when Aquino took office. To date, women OFWs make up more than half (55%) of the stock estimate of OFWs, outnumbering male OFWs especially in the service sector (Center for Filipinos Overseas, 2012).

Women OFWs face very specific vulnerabilities because they are women – sexual discrimination and other gender-specific abuses, exploitation and violence in the sorts of work they tend to predominate. This is especially the case when women OFWs migrate for work that is in line with their traditionally-defined reproductive roles in society (i.e. domestic workers, nurses, caregivers, etc.).

According to Migrante’s annual databank (2013-2014), more women OFWs faced all sorts of hardships and exploitation during the past year. Of the 174 cases of repatriation handled and facilitated by Migrante’s Rights and Welfare Assistance Program (RWAP), 138 are women. Majority of them were physically, verbally and emotionally abused, overworked, underpaid and suffered work-related violations.

Of the 104 cases referred by Migrante to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) from 2013 to 2014, 88 cases involved women OFWs who were illegally dismissed or terminated or were victimized by abusive recruiters and employers. 45 out of the 60 cases endorsed by Migrante in that same period to the National Labor Relations Commission, meanwhile, (NLRC) involved women OFWs.

For January to February 2015 alone, Migrante’s RWAP has already handled at least 50 cases of violence against women (VAW) OFWs, ranging from physical assault, sexual harassment, attempted rape, rape, sex trafficking to verbal abuse and emotional torture.

The current onslaught of the global economic crisis also further intensifies abuses and violations faced by women OFWs. The worsening crisis makes them more vulnerable to trafficking, criminalization of irregular or undocumented migrants, and drives them to tolerate more abuses in the workplace. The worsening crisis under the Aquino regime conceives for them more desperate conditions, locally and abroad.

Under the Aquino administration, the number of trafficked OFWs, mostly women, has reached a staggering 1.3 million, according to 2012 data by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. Many of them migrated to work through legal means but were later coerced into exploitative conditions, drug trade or white slavery.

Unfortunately, the Aquino government lacks the political will and competence to fully address these cases. Twenty years after the execution of Flor Contemplacion, many others like her have come after. Many abused, exploited and maltreated women OFWs are yet to attain justice, with government support and assistance generally lacking. Twenty years after Flor Contemplacion’s death, many women migrant workers have organized themselves to continue to organize in efforts to confront the struggles and challenges of their plight.

Today, marching with us are modern-day Flor Contemplacions, courageous women OFWs from different parts of the world and their families who braved their plight and survived. They continue to call for justice. They realize that forced migration and modern-day slavery can only ever be stopped on a day when our citizens will no longer be forced to face dire and dangerous conditions overseas out of desperation, poverty and hopelessness. They unite with other women and sectors of society in calling for the removal of Aquino from office. Migrante marches with them in solidarity with the women’s struggle for freedom and national democracy. This International Women’s Day, we salute and honor them and other women OFWs around the world.

Twenty years after the death of Flor Contemplacion, Filipino migrants and their families are once again roused into collective action and determination to exercise their democratic right to bring about regime and system change. Migrante International is part of NOW! (Noynoy Out Now!), a broad multisectoral formation calling for Aquino's resignation and the formation of a People’s Council to replace him. On March 17, the 20th death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, Migrante and its chapters and affiliates worldwide will be holding a “Global Day of Action for Aquino’s Resignation”. ###

Website: http://migranteinternational.org
Office Address: #45 Cambridge St, Cubao, Quezon City
Telefax: 9114910



08 March 2015

Students call for Aquino’s resignation on Women’s Day

On the commemoration of the International Women’s Day, the youth group League of Filipino Students (LFS) joined women’s organizations in a protest calling for Aquino’s resignation.

LFS gathered with sectoral groups in an ecumenical mass and program at Bonifacio Shrine in Manila. By evening, participants marched to Mendiola where the concluded protest was concluded.

LFS said that Aquino's policies have ushered relentless tuition hikes and imposition of other school fees led to the deaths of Rosanna Sanfuego and Kristel Tejada. She added that these are some of the reasons that have fueled the youth’s resolve to remove Aquino from power.

“As we commemorate the International Women’s Day, we remember our sisters Rosanna Sanfuego and Kristel Tejada who were pushed to the brink by the anti-people Aquino government. We keep in mind the horrors experienced by several mothers in Mindanao in Aquino’s all-out war. We recall the cases of Jennifer Laude and Nicole who were killed and raped by American soldiers because of Aquino’s subservience to the U.S.,” said LFS National Chairperson Charisse Bañez.

According to Bañez, poverty and suffering perpetuated by the present administration should not be allowed to continue.

“For all the women and the Filipino people who were exploited and oppressed by the social inequalities perpetuated by the Aquino government, we unite to demand Aquino’s resignation. We won’t let the injustices continue,” Bañez continued.

LFS added that another proof of Aquino’s negligence towards the lives of the Filipino people is the massive military attacks in the Moro communities in Mindanao. She said that Aquino’s all-out war is a ruthless, bloody effort to relieve his self from accountability in the Mamasapano incident.

Bañez said that Aquino has no reason to stay in power.

“We have no need for a president that neglects the lives of the poor. Today, we pledge to our mothers, sisters, and all the Filipina martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the country that we continue fighting for peace. We will render justice by removing Aquino from power,” said Bañez.

LFS and other youth groups are gearing up for another nationally-coordinated campus walkout on March 13. The group will be holding a series of protest actions starting on Monday in preparation for the massive walkout.

“Aquino’s long list of atrocities compels the Filipino youth to fight for change and intensify the clamor for his resignation,” Bañez ended.###


Charisse Banez
LFS National Spokesperson
0919 617 8979

Charlotte Velasco
LFS Media Liaison
0926 594 5243

Website: lfs.ph
Facebook: facebook.com/elepsPH
Twitter: twitter.com/LFSPhilippines





Youth group Anakbayan together with Gabriela, a national alliance of women, and other progressive organizations today marched from Bonifacio shrine to Mendiola to commemorate the International Women’s Day and to call for Aquino’s immediate resignation.

“Today, on the commemoration of the International Women’s Day, we join our sisters in calling for Aquino’s immediate resignation. Aquino’s subservience to the whims of the US, to the landlords and big businessmen, has resulted in the deaths, oppression, and exploitation of women and the rest of the Filipino people,” said Jaqueline Eroles, Anakbayan Secretary General.

Anakbayan pointed out that under the Aquino administration, there have been so far 224 victims of extrajudicial killing, with 18 of the victims being women, and three were raped. These cases of extrajudicial killings remain unresolved under the Aquino administration. Under the Aquino regime there are 491 political prisoners, and 43 of these are women facing criminal trumped-up charges.

“The government is doing nothing in order to solve these cases of extrajudicial killings, while it is enthusiastic in arresting people who are perceived as a threat to their interest,” said Eroles.

“Regardless of gender this regime is willing to charge anyone who is against it with trumped up charges,” added Eroles.

Politcal prisoners Andrea Rosal and Miradel Torres experienced the cruelty of the Aquino government. Miradel had to fight to keep her son after birth and nurse him in jail. Meanwhile, Rosal’s harsh experience during her pregnancy in prison lead to the death of her child.

“Aquino’s handling of Rosal and Torres, both pregnant political prisoners who face trumped-up charges, shows the cruelty of his administration. Women who are perceived as a threat by this cruel administration might face the same fate as that of Rosal and Torres,” said Eroles.

Anakbayan stated that Aquino’s policies have also resulted in the deaths of three Filipinas: Rosanna Sanfuego, Kristel Tejada, and Jennifer Laude.

“Rosanna and Kristel’s deaths were ushered by the tuition hikes and other school fees, Aquino’s policies of deregulation of education destroys the dream of many Filipina youth, and digs the grave of some,” said Eroles.

“Laude’s death was under the condition that US troops are still present in our country. Her death might not have happen if there was no EDCA, VFA, and MLSA,” Eroles added.

Anakbayan vowed to continue the fight for advancing women’s rights, and Aquino’s ouster. The youth group called on all Filipino women to join the struggle for their rights and genuine societal change.



Website: anakbayan.org
Twitter: @anakbayan_ph

Anakbayan is the comprehensive mass organization of the Filipino youth, advocating genuine national independence and democracy as a solution to the nation's problems. It is open to anyone from 13 to 35 years old, and currently has a 20,000-strong membership across the Philippines and in several cities in the U.S, Canada and Australia.

It is not a partylist group and is in no way affiliated with the pro-Aquino group Akbayan.



More photos of march to Mendiola here