Friday, September 14, 2007

"Arroyo gov't is # 1 perpetrator of violence against women"

14 September 2007

Reference: Emily Cahilog, International Relations Officer, 371-2302

"Arroyo gov't is # 1 perpetrator of violence against women"- GABRIELA

The militant women's group GABRIELA tagged the Philippine government as the "number one and cruelest perpetrator of violence against women" in a dialogue with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Experts Yakin Ertuk. The dialogue is part of the National Consultation with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women (UNSRVAW) held in Manila today.

"Under the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Filipino women of all ages are being beaten and tortured, abducted and summarily executed," said Emily Cahilog, international relations officer of GABRIELA.

According to Cahilog, since 2001, 96 women were victims of political killing 76 of them were victims of extrajudicial killing, 29 were victims of enforced disappearance and 22 are political prisoners.

GABRIELA highlighted the case of peace advocate Angie Ipong, 62, who was illegally arrested two years ago in Misamis Occidental. Ipong was only surfaced by the military after subjecting the elderly woman to continued interrogation, physical torture and sexual molestation for 13 days. Ipong continues to be detained in Pagadian City Jail.

On children and minors victims of human rights violations, Salinlahi Alliance for Children's Concerns said that from 2001 to August 2007, 59 children and 5 unborn babies have been killed, 11 are disappeared and 82 were victims of illegal arrest/detention.

Under Article 2 of the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women,violence against women encompasses physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs.

"The continued and intensifying violation of rights of Filipino women and children is not an issue of the government's inability to resolve these violations. President Arroyo and the Armed Forces of the Philippines can no longer deny the that it is a state policy to perpetrate and perpetuate violence against women and children as part of the state's overall scheme to quash the people's dissent." ###