DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Women’s groups and other sectoral organizations in the city join the 9th year of the gender-based global campaign One Billion Rising as they called out the attacks against government critics in the region.
Led by Gabriela Davao, the group staged a dance at Freedom Park in Roxas Avenue participated by women and youth advocates.
Long-time women’s advocate and progressive leader Cora Espinosa said the campaign centered on issues affecting various sectors including the worsening situation of the public due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Syempre dinhi sa Southern Mindanao Region nagpadayon sa gihapon ang mga pagpangabuso ilabina karon sa panahon sa pandemya. Naa diha ang pagpangabuso sulod sa panimalay ug labaw sa tanan ang pagpangabuso using power sa mga anaa sa panggamhanan kung asa dili lamang kababayen-an ang nahimong target niining abuso kundi tibuok katawhan ilabina kadtong adunay kaisog nga mupasibaw ug nagpuna sa usa ka macho-pasista gobyerno,” Espinosa explained.
Espinosa lauded the courage of the participants to express resistance in the bailiwick of Duterte, despite the restrictions set by the local government that disallows more than 50 participants in a public rally.
This year’s One Billion Rising carried the theme “break the silence”, emphasizing that people are rising to end violence against women, resisting misogyny and fascism.
This year’s observance is absent of participants coming from government officials rom the city, barangay and national agencies who had partnered with Gabriela in the past to raise awareness about gender-based issues.
No less than then-mayor President Rodrigo Duterte was among the personalities who joined the campaign in 2014 in an activity organized by Gabriela Davao in Rizal Park that drew around 3,000 participants all over the city.
Back then his speech recognized women asserting their place in various roles once dominated by men in society. Duterte even said that “they needed to be respected not because they are women, but because they are human beings.”
But in his presidency, Duterte is known for his misogyny and attacks on women critics.
Gabriela Party-list second nominee Dr. Jean Lindo, said human rights violations on women and children were documented under the current administration. In Southern Mindanao region, Lumad school teachers, peasant women and women union workers were among those harassed, illegally arrested, faced trumped up charges, underwent force surrender schemes and some even murdered.
These attacks threatened the lives of the indigenous people, farmers, workers, and even the youth because of them speaking up against impunity, says Lindo.
Lindo was among those progressive leaders in the city who were red-tagged as a member or supporter of the New People’s Army.
“Karong adlawa usa lamang sa mga adlaw nga ipakita nato ang atong kasuko ug resistance kay kinahanglan man ang mapinadayunon ang atong paglihok aron atong mapakita nga kita wala nahadlok taliwala sa mga unsa mang porma sa pag-atake sa atong batakang katungod,” she said.
The OBR also called for new politics in the coming May 2022 elections, as Davao’s first district congressional candidate Mags Maglana pose a challenge to Davaoeños.
Maglana, who will face incumbent Congressman, presidential son Paolo Duterte, said that half of the entire population of the city are women who have the capacity “to change the rotten system” through collective power. The congressional candidate also emphasizes the continuing struggle to assert the women’s voice not just within the family but into decision and policymaking.
“Ang mamugnaong pagsayaw usa lamang sa mga porma sa pagbatok sa mga karahasan/kapintasan nga nagabiktima sa mga kababayin-an ug sa pagbarog alang sa atong mga katungod. Araw-araw at sa iba’t-ibang antas natin dapat nilalabanan ang karahasan laban sa kababaihan. Ang eleksyon ngayong Mayo ay isa sa mga pagkakataong makakapili tayo ng mga babae at lalaking may paninindigan for women’s rights and gender equality,” she said. (davaotoday.com)