March 8, 2006
*Rights defenders say women can help stop GMA's fascist attacks*
Human rights advocates and defenders from KARAPATAN joined today's demonstrations in the observance of International Women's Day with a call for an end to Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's regime of violence and state terror.
"Filipino women must rise up and stop the violence committed by the fascist GMA regime against women and men, children and the elderly in all sectors of society," said Ruth Cervantes, KARAPATAN Public Information Officer.
Cervantes said "We are outraged at the terrorism and violence unleashed by the fascist GMA government on the Filipino people."
"We bewail and condemn the unabated killings of Filipinos under the Macapagal-Arroyo government. In 2005 alone, 179 persons have been killed by government forces, including a two-year old boy and two babies who died with their murdered mothers. The gruesome killings, the broadness of targets, the impunity with which these are perpetrated by state security forces only prove that this regime has unleashed state terrorism."
Cervantes said the two-year old boy was the nephew of slain Bayan Muna activist Noel Garcia and the two unborn children died with their murdered mothers Marivel Tablang-Supe�a in Nueva Ecija and Alma Bertoline of Palo, Leyte.
KARAPATAN said more than 500 people have been murdered by state security forces and paramilitary groups in the last five years of the Arroyo presidency. 154 persons were victims of involuntary disappearance and remain missing to this day. Twenty-two (22) KARAPATAN human rights workers have already been killed under the GMA regime, six (6) of them women.
The human rights group noted that of the more than 500 cases of extra-judicial killings that they were able to document, not one has been solved. What had been done were perfunctory police reports but no thorough investigations were conducted leading to no perpetrators arrested, much less punished.
These killings are continuing and with the regime's imposition of a copycat presidential proclamation 1017, KARAPATAN fears of more attacks against civilians. These attacks are legitimized and openly declared by the military in their counter-insurgency program called *Oplan Bantay Laya *which unequivocally targets leaders of legal organizations, party list organizations, trade union and peasant associations in the military's efforts to "smash the insurgency by 2010."
Proclamation 1017 has shown that Arroyo has gone from desperate to fascist. Now she has usurped power to muzzle the media, hit at her critics through trumped up inciting to sedition and rebellion charges as in the case of duly-elected representatives from progressive party list Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Anakpawis, and bring back the country into the dark days of martial law.
KARAPATAN called on Filipino men and women to broaden and heighten the resistance and defiance against fascist attacks, calling to mind that the "terror effect" of the Marcos dictatorship was broken by the pro-active, united action of women and other democratic sectors and forces until it was toppled in 1986.