08 March 2015
Contact No: 0929.8380.760
Women of Southern Tagalog to assert truth &
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
“"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,
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
“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,”
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: 0922.214.171.124
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08 March 2015
Workers join Women’s Day protest, call for Aquino’s
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
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
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,”
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
08 March 2015
Rev. Gil Sediarin
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
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: 09126.96.36.199
March 8, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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
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
Office Address: #45 Cambridge St, Cubao, Quezon City
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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
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.###
LFS National Spokesperson
0919 617 8979
LFS Media Liaison
0926 594 5243
YOUTH GROUPS MARCH TO MENDIOLA ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S
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
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.
REFERENCE: JAQUELINE EROLES, 09215495900
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.