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

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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 a debasing remark on rape and abuse of a domestic worker, kissed female supporters and held them on his lap in public much 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 decision is victory in itself. This is a huge positive step in the struggle against patriarchy.

That the decision 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 Medealdea, to the women’s complaint have focused on accusing the Commission on Human Rights 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 organizations work 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.

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 suffered from rape and death threats when they raised 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 and indigenous peoples.

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.

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 a debasing remark on rape and abuse of a domestic worker, kissed female supporters and held them on his lap in public much 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 decision is victory in itself. This is a huge positive step in the struggle against patriarchy.

That the decision 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 Medealdea, to the women’s complaint have focused on accusing the Commission on Human Rights 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 organizations work 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.

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 suffered from rape and death threats when they raised 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 and indigenous peoples.

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.

Organizations:

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

Individuals:

1. Dadine Saunar Abella
2. Jen Albano
3. Holly Allan
4. Fatima PirAllian
5. Robert Andres
6. Edna Aquino
7. Zinnia Arcinue
8. Julie Jacob Asuncion
9. Faith Bacon
10. Mcoi Bagaforo
11. Marla A. Barcenilla
12. Tess Battad
13. Yen Belarmino
14. Walden Bello
15. Laean Abrogina Benitez
16. Zena Bernardo Bernardo
17. Maribel Brown
18. Lori G. Brunio
19. Annie Calma
20. James Castaneda
21. Kathy Clarin
22. Ging Cristobal
23. Ivanka Custodio
24. Tina Cuyugan
25. Herbert Docena
26. Mila De Guzman
27. Yeyin De La Cruz
28. Angel Doniego
29. Julia Enriquez Cristobal
30. Mari Enriquez
31. Wilma Famoso
32. Astrid Fontanilla
33. Marevic Balisalisa Fontanilla
34. Naomi Fontanos
35. Melvs Garcia
36. Patricia Gonzales
37. Viol de Guzman
38. Anj Heruela
39. Dee Dicen Hunt
40. Joy Anne Icayan
41. Avic Ilagan
42. John Rex Jardinero
43. Malou Pantua Juanito
44. Gemma Lambino
45. Yna de Leon
46. Ester Libo
47. Ted Lopez
48. Becky Lozada
49. Katrina Lucena
50. Cielo Magno
51. Nilda Mangilay
52. Arnie Rabe-luke Manuel
53. Eileen Matute
54. Lan Mercado
55. Zenaida Salientes Mique
56. Lily Mocles
57. Giselle Montero
58. Eugene Moreno
59. Menchie Nolasco
60. Joy Oh
61. Gie Onida
62. Julius Panday
63. Bodjie Pascua
64. Sokie Paulin
65. Corazon Pindog
66. Maria Lourdes Polotan
67. May Quizan
68. Odes Reyes
69. Doris Lois Rifareal
70. Mary Rebecca Rogacion
71. Tessa Cruz San Diego
72. Alice Sarmiento
73. Mel Soto
74. Joyce Sierra
75. Amelia Suarez
76. Filomena Gloria Subala
77. Ms Myra M Tambor
78. Kelly Denn Tomas
79. Christine Anne Trajano
80. DinnaUmengan
81. Ron de Vera
82. Ester Villarin
83. Jay Yparraguirre
84. Sonia Soosot
85. Nisa Zerrudo

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