At 6 this evening, women from various groups, many of whom were at the Luneta rally on Aug. 14, gathered at the World Scout Jamboree in Timog, bringing stone markers with names of women victims-survivors during Martial Law. They also lit candles to protest the killings happening in the name of the drug war, now reaching 1,103 as of Aug. 18.
“The killings are reminiscent of the early days of Martial law, which delivered shock and awe with the targeting first of drug offenders,” said Jean Enriquez, Philippine coordinator of the World March of Women. “We do not want our country to fall back to the dark days of the dictatorship that did not recognize the fundamental rights of its citizens,” she added.
The group also opposed the interment of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery). “Such will lay to waste the years of struggle of many women who fought and died during Martial Law,” said Joanne Bernice Coronacion, of SENTRO-Women. “Our fellow worker Lisa Balando was killed by a Metrocom’s bullet in 1971 in front of the old Senate Building, and she is the one who should be recognized as a hero, not Marcos.”
The women brought other women heroes’ names such as those of Liliosa Hilao, the Kalinga women who fought the Chico river dam construction, the survivors of Jolo Burning, Palimbang and Manili massacres in Mindanao.
“We also support the legislative investigation of the extra-judicial killings and are angered by the sexist harassment by the current President of Sen. Leila De Lima, added Enriquez. She lamented that the President consistently harassed women who filed a complaint against the rape joke, to Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno and now, Sen. De Lima. “Such attacks by the patriarch tries to send the message that anyone who stands in the way will be disparaged, but not his co-patriarchs like Marcos,” said Enriquez.
Participating organizations included the World March of Women, Center for Migrant Advocacy, Phils. Inc., Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP),
Focus on the Global South, Foundation for Media Alternatives, I Defend Human Rights and Dignity Movement, Ladies Who Launch, Lilak (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), PILIPINA, Sarilaya, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa – Women, Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), WomanHealth Philippines, Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau – WLB, and Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE).