Wednesday, April 25, 2007

FiRE Supports Gabriela Partylist Nominee

Statement and Urgent Call to Action
April 26, 2007

FiRE Supports Gabriela Partylist Nominee, Flora Baniaga-Belinan
Stop Targeting and Political Killings of Progressives!
The Woman’s Place Is In The Fight!

In the face of increasing harassment and disappearances of congressional and senatorial nominees, the Gabriela Women’s Partylist nominee, Flora Baniaga-Belinan, stands steadfast against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s scare tactics. Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) supports Baniaga-Belinan to represent the issues of women, indigenous people and migrants in the House of Representatives of the Philippine government.

Hundreds of women’s organizations in the Philippines under GABRIELA, have and continue to represent the women’s existing issues: wide-scale poverty, adverse health support, lack of social service, landlessness, prostitution and the labor brokering policy, shipping over 3,000 women overseas as migrant workers. In the US, a primary receiver of Filipina migrant workers, Filipino women are consistently trafficked into working as nurses, domestic workers, nannies, caregivers and sexual slaves. The recent death of Fely Garcia, a Filipina domestic worker found dead in her Bronx home last March 14th attests to the Filipino women’s struggle even when they are not in the Philippines.

These very particular issues that are specific to Filipino women and their lives are manifested in the GWP nominee, Baniaga-Belinan. Her seat in the House will in fact speak to her experiences as a woman, a migrant leader and an indigenous person. She will push through for and defend the rights and welfare of women and Filipino migrants.

The primary tool of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration to quell the clamoring of the Filipino people for representation and political participation has been through the execution, kidnapping and harassment of political leaders. As the Permanent People’s Tribunal found GMA guilty of crimes against humanity, apparent by the state-sponsored political killings, her administration has become more and more fearful of the growing mass movement in the Philippines and in the Filipino diaspora.

Baniaga-Belinan, side by side with other nominees representing the wide mass movement in the Philippines, will stand as opposition to this truly UN-democratic government. FiRE recognizes her ability to lead and forge a fight for the women, indigenous people, and migrants’ voices rarely heard in the House!

FiRE calls on all citizens of the Philippines with voting rights to cast their vote for Baniaga-Belinan as a representative in the house who can stand for the rights of indigenous people, women and migrants!

We stand in solidarity with the broad women’s struggle in the National Democratic movement in the Philippines, and fully support Baniaga-Belinan in her campaign!

Vote for Baniaga-Belinan, Gabriela Women’s Partylist Nominee!
Stop the Killings and Targeting of Political Leaders!
Protect the Vote!


FIRE is an organizing committee working around local and global issues that affecting Filipino women. We are an anti-imperialist, Pro-People, Pro-NationalDemocracy organization representing the women's sector and is a member organization of BAYAN-USA (

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. As the only international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S.