KAISA KA on International Women’s Day 2015:
Continue the Fight for Women’s Emancipation and People’s Sovereignty
Filipino women can vote. They can be elected into office. They can attain higher education. But they are not really free. Most of them are poor, deprived of opportunities to improve their lot. They are a part of the Philippines that is tied to an unequal relationship. Hence they can not rejoice. On this International Women’s Day, they grieve.
We, the members of KAISA KA protest against the Benigno Aquino III government’s implementation of policies that drive women to work, often in utter slavery, abroad; and, its embrace of US’s policies and programs that spell the further militarization of the Philippines and the entire Asia-Pacific, bring the people closer to war and cause insecurity and more danger to women.
Supporters of the president, especially business groups repeatedly proclaim a rosy picture of Philippine economy. “The Philippines is no longer the sick man of Asia.” “It is now the second tiger economy in Asia, next to China.” But evidently, because of its embrace of neoliberal policies, growing number of workers cannot be absorbed in workplaces in the Philippines, and this drives a large number to seek jobs abroad, some even braving the danger of getting trafficked by drug and sex syndicates and hazards.
The Aquino government has unquestioningly accepted all US military policies and programs for the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific, as if its interests are one with those of big US capitalists. It refuses to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) despite the clarity that the US uses this and the moldy Mutual Defense Treaty to drag the country into US’s wars and to become a front in a war of aggression. The Aquino government even approved the Enhanced Defense Cooperation (EDCA) agreement that directs the Philippines to accommodate a large number of troops and prepositioned war materiel.
We experienced very recently the heart-rending effect of this compliance with the military measures of the US. The gruesome murder of Jennifer Laude and the Philippine government’s subsequent submission to US’s custody of the accused L/Cpl Joseph Scott Pemberton show the bastardized treatment of the Philippines and the menace that the coming soldiers in their droves under EDCA will bring to women.
The US did not care whether the operation that it directed the PNP-SAF to execute in Mamasapano would create a number of widows and orphans or whether it would compromise the peace process. All it insured was its interest, not to eradicate terrorism because the US itself puts up and supports terrorist groups for its needs, but to have something positive to show to the American people that spend for its war on terror. And now, it does not care when the present war in Mindanao-Sulu that it also directs has displaced more than 30,000 women, children and old people.
Women have to unite to fight the militarization of the Philippines and the entire Asia-Pacific by the US. We should oppose the Philippine government’s subservience to the only superpower in the world that endangers women and the rest of the people. Women’s concerted actions, in unity with other oppressed sectors in society, in their numbers will guarantee security for women.
Onward with the emancipation of women! Assert people’s sovereignty!
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