WOMEN STORM DOJ; SLAM POLITICAL PERSECUTION AND SHAM CHARGES AGAINST MAZA ETAL.

Members and supporters of militant women’s partylist group Gabriela picketed the Department of Justice today slamming the DOJ’s hand in the revival of fabricated murder charges against Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casino and former Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano.

“We want a stop to the political persecution, the harassments, the killings and abductions being continuously perpetrated against progressive partylist organizations, our members and our representatives,” declared Gabriela Women’s Party Secretary General Cristina Palabay.

“The fabricated murder and kidnapping charges filed against Rep. Maza and other progressive solons are all part of Malacanang’s grand scheme to persecute its critics and no less than the Inter Agency Legal Action Group, the Department of Justice and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have been tasked to implement this full gear,” said Palabay.

“The Arroyo regime is even more determined to rid marginalized women of a voice in Congress in the light of the worsening rice and oil crisis and the unending exposes of corruption scandals that plague this administration. It is but for Mrs. Arroyo’s gain and her continued stay in power that critics are being viciously attacked.”

Palabay explained that the charges lodged against Maza and three other progressive partylist solons in the Regional Trial Courts of Palayan City and Guimba, both in Nueva Ecija were the same charges used in an attempt to disqualify their partylist organizations in 2007. “The disqualification case was already dismissed for lack of merit.”

Protesters declared their support for Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza. Their placards read, “Hands-off Liza Maza” and “Stop political persecution now!”

Fe Ramirez, a local Gabriela leader from Quezon City said, “Persecution will not stop us from demanding for what is just and right. We will not be cowed by this attack on our representative in Congress.” #

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