WOMEN’S groups in the city on Thursday, March 8, joined others in the country to mark International Women’s Day and scored President Rodrigo Duterte anew for being misogynistic and for promoting “anti-women” policies.
Gabriela-Northern Mindanao Region hit the government for failing to protect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) following Joanna Demafelis' demise and for Duterte’s "shoot NPA women in the vagina" remark.
The militant women’s group also called on the government to drop the “trumped-up” charges against Myles Albasin, the Kagay-anon graduate of the University of the Philippines-Cebu who was one of six arrested by the military in Negros Oriental last week.
Albasin was supposedly arrested after an alleged encounter in Mabinay, Negros Oriental. She, along with her five companions, are being detained in Negros.
Gabriela-NMR spokesperson Amalin Baroma said they are worried about Albasin's fate in the hands of “abusive” authorities.
"She is only an organizer of our poor farmers but the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) unsurprisingly, however, planted evidence to charge her (and her companions) with illegal possession of firearms," Baroma said.
"The community can even testify that there was no encounter. But for Myles, we urge her to be strong, the women of Northern Mindanao are here supporting her," Baroma said.
As a woman and youth leader, Anakbayan-Tagoloan Chapter Ivy Salamanca, meanwhile, related the alleged growing harassment under the Duterte administration.
Salamanca said she is not exempted from these threats and intimidation for joining protests against Phividec Industrial Authority. Salamanca said she joined residents in their call to give them relocation sites, a call that was answered not by giving them what they wanted, but by harassing the rallyists.
She said she had been followed and visited by strangers looking for her.
"But we will not stop and we will continue to be inspired by the likes of Gabriela Silang, and the new generation of strong women like Judy Taguiwalo, Gina Lopez, Liza Maza, and Myles Albasin," Salamanca said.
Gabriela and other militant groups yesterday called for the protection of women's rights among others, during the International Women's Day at Kiosko Kagawasan, Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 09, 2018.