Women’s groups call on the new administration to respect women and human rights


Women’s groups with CHR Commissioner Chito Gascon

Press Statement

We, women, celebrate the resolution of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that incoming President Rodrigo Duterte violated the Magna Carta of Women when he made debasing remarks on rape and abuse of a domestic worker, kissed female supporters and held them on his lap in public, to the women’s surprise and without their consent, during his presidential campaign.

For the victims of rape and sexual assault and for all other women who were affected by his acts, that the women’s right against gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment was affirmed through this resolution is victory in itself. This is a huge positive step in the struggle against patriarchy.

That the resolution upholds and promotes the Magna Carta of Women is also seen as triumph in the legal arena. This battle, however, is far from over, as the replies of the incoming President through his legal counsel and incoming Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, to the women’s complaint have focused on accusing the CHR of partisanship, and the complainants of simply discrediting the respondent for electoral purposes. Last Monday, the complainants filed a comment to the incoming president’s motion for reconsideration at the CHR.

We stand by the complainants that the movements they represent “have been around far longer than the Respondent’s tenure in government,” and that as advocates for women’s rights for decades, we are “duty-bound to ensure that the laws women have so tirelessly fought for are being respected and complied with by all.”

A number of our partner organizations worked in Davao City for pro-women legislation and it is, therefore, more disturbing that the same person claiming to be advancing women’s rights in his reply, would commit acts of discrimination and violence against women.[1]

We maintain that the respondent’s remarks/acts and justification of them in public speeches caused harm on women, especially the victim-survivors of rape.

As he assumes greater power, we are similarly disturbed by the lack of remorse, the disparaging of human rights institutions, as well as statements encouraging other human rights violations towards journalists and perceived criminals. To date, 40 suspected criminals, including a corn farmer in Zamboanga and three members of the LGBT community, have been killed summarily, since Duterte has been elected. He gave the police assurances during the campaign that they will have his full backing if they killed “criminals in the line of duty,” while also calling for the restoration of death penalty.

A mayor in Batangas had been parading suspects, three of whom were minors. A mayor in Cebu has been offering bounties for killers of suspected criminals. We have been witnessing children being torn away from their poor parents vending at night in the name of curfew. Women advocates suffer from rape and death threats when they raise their voices against the respondent’s acts. Not only was a culture of rape encouraged, but a culture of violence, death and reprisal.

We, therefore, call on all sectors of society to be as advocates, watchful and critical over violations of human rights standards we fought for through the years. We will also hold this administration answerable to its promises about ending contractualization, protecting the environment — opposing mining and the use of dirty energy in the country — and looking after the rights of farmers, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups including the LGBT community.

Our tasks in the women’s and human rights movements may have become more daunting as the Duterte administration begins, but as in the past so shall it be in the present, social movements press on and thrive despite of governments, even of the authoritarian kind.


1. Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) – Youth
2. Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
3. BagongKamalayan
4. BuklodngKababaihan
5. Coalition Against Trafficking In Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
6. Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA)
7. CPSU Gender and Development (GAD) Team
8. Development through Active Women Networking (DAWN)
9. Focus on the Global South
10. Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA)
11. KababaihansaSining at BagongSibolnaKamalayan (KASIBULAN)
12. LIHOK Pilipina
13. Lilak (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights)
14. MalayangLapianngmgaKababaihansaIrosin (Malaya Ka, Inc)
15. Mindanao Tri-People Women’s Forum
16. Mindanao Tri-People Women Resource Center (MTWRC, Inc.)
17. PagkakaisangKababaihanparasaKalayaan (KaisaKa)
19. Respect FastFood Workers’ Alliance
20. Sagip-IlogPilipinas
21. Sarilaya
22. SENTRO-Women
23. WomanHealth Philippines
24. Women and Gender Institute (WagiMc)
25. Women Enablers Advocates and Volunteers for Empowering and Responsive Solution (WEAVERS)
26. Women Interacting for New Growth and Services (WINGS)
27. Women’s Education Development Productivity & Research Organization (WEDPRO)
28. Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB
29. Women’s Day Off
30. World March of Women – Pilipinas
31. Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality – YSAGE


1. DadineSaunarAbella
2. Jen Albano
3. Cora Dandan Albano
4. Holly Allan
5. Fatima PirAllian
6. Robert Andres
7. Edna Aquino
8. Zinnia Arcinue
9. Julie Jacob Asuncion
10. Faith Bacon
11. McoiBagaforo
12. Marla A. Barcenilla
13. Tess Battad
14. Yen Belarmino
15. Walden Bello
16. LaeanAbrogina Benitez
17. Zena Bernardo Bernardo
18. Maribel Brown
19. Lori G. Brunio
20. Annie Calma
21. James Castaneda
22. Kathy Clarin
23. Ging Cristobal
24. IvankaCustodio
25. Tina Cuyugan
26. Herbert Docena
27. Mila De Guzman
28. Yeyin De La Cruz
29. Angel Doniego
30. Julia Enriquez Cristobal
31. Mari Enriquez
32. Wilma Famoso
33. Astrid Fontanilla
34. MarevicBalisalisaFontanilla
35. Naomi Fontanos
36. Melvs Garcia
37. Patricia Gonzales
38. Viol de Guzman
39. AnjHeruela
40. Dee Dicen Hunt
41. Joy Anne Icayan
42. AvicIlagan
43. Lorna Quejong Israel
44. John Rex Jardinero
45. RossanJoson
46. MalouPantuaJuanito
47. Gemma Lambino
48. Yna de Leon
49. Ester Libo
50. Ted Lopez
51. Becky Lozada
52. Katrina Lucena
53. CieloMagno
54. NildaMangilay
55. Arnie Rabe-luke Manuel
56. Eileen Matute
57. Lan Mercado
58. ZenaidaSalientesMique
59. Lily Mocles
60. Giselle Montero
61. Eugene Moreno
62. MenchieNolasco
63. 59. Eden Ocampo
64. Joy Oh
65. GieOnida
66. Julius Panday
67. Bodjie Pascua
68. SokiePaulin
69. Corazon Pindog
70. Maria Lourdes Polotan
71. May Quizan
72. Odes Reyes
73. Doris Lois Rifareal
74. Mary Rebecca Rogacion
75. Tessa Cruz San Diego
76. Alice Sarmiento
77. Mel Soto
78. Joyce Sierra
79. Amelia Suarez
80. Filomena Gloria Subala
81. Msmyra M Tambor
82. Kelly Denn Tomas
83. Christine Anne Trajano
84. DinnaUmengan
85. Ron de Vera
86. Ester Villarin
87. Jay Yparraguirre
88. Sonia SoosotNisaZerrudo

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