DAVAO CITY – As the campaign period kick-off on Tuesday, February 9, women’s rights advocates warned candidates not to use women in their campaign sorties.
Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Emmi De Jesus said such is a violation of the Magna Carta of Women and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Apart from that, using women in campaign sorties is an indicator of how candidates intend to address the issue of violence against women and children, said De Jesus.
“The worsening impunity in violence against women compels us all to listen, act, rise and in concrete terms, to bring to the electoral arena as an indispensable part of every candidate’s agenda, significant action to address violence and abuse,” she said.
De Jesus said they have monitored several instances where candidates and politicians have treated women with impropriety, “such as the Liberal Party gathering in Laguna and Cavite and the pronouncements and actuations of presidential aspirant, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.”
On October 1, 2015, after senatorial candidate and former Metro Manila Development Authority chairperson Francis Tolentino reportedly hired sexy dancers for a gathering of Liberal Party candidates and supporters in Laguna.
In the same month, dance group Playgirls were invited to performed at a birthday party of Laguna Representative Benjamin Agarao, Jr.
The next month, the Inquirer.net reported Duterte kissing “and having fun with women” in a “Mad for Change” event in Manila.
These prompted Gabriela Women’s Party to file House Resolution 2345 to investigate, in aid of legislation, the use of women as sexual objects of entertainment during political gatherings.
“We strongly criticize and warn these candidates as women will surely make them accountable for their actions this coming elections,” said De Jesus. (davaotoday.com)