DAVAO CITY – Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former Mutya ng Dabaw winner Fila Guia Hidalgo were among the personalities who joined the city’s event for the One Billion Rising for Justice Campaign on Valentine’s Day February 14.
The globally-coordinated event called for the end of violence against women and children through an event where advocates lead rallies, songs and dances.
The event here was staged at Rizal Park and drew 3,000 participants led by Gabriela Davao.
Duterte appeared on the stage in the middle of the program and said times have changed along with women’s role in society.
He said what was the norm for women before to “have babies, and treated like a maid” are all things of the past.
Women now, he said, have asserted for their place in the workplace and in different roles once dominated by men.
He said that on this era, there is now a “progressive” viewpoint on women.
“We should treat women with dignity, they needed to be respected not because they are women, but because they are human being,” he said
He ended his message saying, Walay tao sa kalibutan, kung wala ang babae, kung wala ang atong inahan (There will be no person living in this world, without the women, or our mothers.)”
The city co-sponsored the event through the Integrated Gender and Development Division.
The city government has been known to passed local laws and measures protecting women and children such as the Women Development Code and Childrens’ Welfare Code.
Another participant to the OBR was last year’s Mutya ng Dabaw winner Fila Guia Hidalgo, who joined the contingent of the University of the Philippines Mindanao.
Hidalgo said she joined the event as she has found inspiration in the struggle for women’s rights.
“(This activity) serves as an inspiration and motivation for us to fight what needs to be fought” she said
She added that she joined this event as a citizen saying one “must be knowledgeable in every issues that’s happening the society today”
“More than knowing, one needs to be involved,” she added.
Gabriela Davao’s chair Lyda Canson said the participation of all sectors is important to raise awareness not only on violence but also on social issues such as corruption that leads to deprivation of social services.
“With the state of the country marred by corruption especially with the anomalous use of the public funds, then all taxpayers should be with us in dancing to call for justice,” she said.
One Billion Rising for Justice 2014 is a global call for the “survivors to break the silence and release their stories through art, dance, marches, song, testimonies, and whatever way feels right.”
The group also gave recognition to “V-Men” such as Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate and Dr. Leopoldo Vega, Medical Chief of Southern Philippines Medical Center.
Gabriela Davao’s Secretary General Mary Ann Sapar shared that the OBR had taken them to various schools, communities and workplaces to conduct discussions and rehearse for the event.
She said other cities in Mindanao like Tagum City, Cotabato City, Kidapawan City, General Santos City, Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro City, Butuan City and Surigao City took part in the event..
The One Billion Rising for Justice in Davao City was launched last November 23, 2013 with the presence of international actress Monique Wilson, the global director for OBR. (Earl Condeza/davaotoday.com)
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