The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs approved today on second reading House Resolution 124 “Resolution Expressing the Sense of the House of Representatives that the Philippine Government Urges the Government of Japan to Formally Acknowledge, Apologize and Accept its Responsibility over the Sexual Slavery of Young Women Commonly Known as Comfort Women by the Japanese Imperial Army During World War II and Provide compensation to the Victims in the light of the Adoption by the US House of Representatives of House Resolution 121 which States that Japan Formally Acknowledge, apologize and Accept Historical Responsibility in Clear and Unequivocal Manner over its Armed Force’s Coercion of Young Women into Sexual Slavery During its Colonial and Wartime Occupation of Asia, and in the Light of the Legislative Initiatives in the House of Councilors of Japan Seeking Apology, Compensation and Immediate Resolution of Issues Concerning Comfort Women.”
The resolution, an initiative of the women’s partylist group, GABRIELA hopes to bring the Philippine government at par with countries like the United States, Canada and the Netherlands which have approved resolutions in July 2007 (U.S.) and November 2007 (Canada, Netherlands) explicitly seeking the apology of the Japanese government for its crimes during World War II and compensation for the women victims of sexual slavery.
“Nakakahiya. Sa bansa natin itong may maraming biktima tapos gubyerno pa natin ang nahuhuli sa pagtityak na mapanagutan ng bansang Hapon ang kanilang nagawang krimen sa ating mga kababaihan at babae pa man din ang pangulo. Indeed, it is high time that we take the cudgels for Filipina victims of sexual slavery during World War II. The Philippine government, for the longest time, has been remiss in its duty to do so,” said Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza.
“Mrs. Arroyo should be reminded that the interests of Filipina World War II comfort women should come first before Japanese business interests in our country. This was one of her first commitments after she took office in 2001.”
The Gabriela solons further said, “The victims are not getting any younger. Many of them have already died in the quest for justice. We hope that the resolution’s approval will be fast tracked in the plenary this week, before Congress goes into recess. ”#