“The Gabriela mission to Okinawa hopes to give Hazel the much needed moral and legal support in this uphill battle for justice. Hazel needs the support of her kababayans now more than ever, especially since the Arroyo government’s neglect and inutility in her case, and their obvious complicity with the US government has made justice even more difficult to attain for Hazel and her family.”
Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza as she leaves today for Okinawa, Japan with Nanay Melly, mother of the Okinawa rape victim, Hazel.
“We will be meeting with Hazel, her custodian, Okinawan government officials and the Filipino community in Okinawa. We hope to be able to properly assess what the Philippine government has done and failed to do in Hazel’s case so that we will be able to take the next appropriate steps to make the perpetrator accountable,” said Maza, explaining the 5-day mission’s itinerary and objectives.
Maza also said that aside from getting a thorough assessment of Hazel’s case and her legal options, Gabriela Women’s Party and the “Mission to Okinawa” intends to also look into the situation of Filipina migrants and entertainers in Okinawa.
“Like Hazel, Filipina migrant workers in Okinawa, especially those working in places near the US miltiary bases are in a situation that exposes them to much violence and sexual abuse. There is a very good chance that Hazel’s case is not the only one. The responsibility to ensure their safety and the protection of their rights falls squarely on the Philippine government. Their failure to do so make them accomplices and liable.”
The Mission to Okinawa will be presenting their report to the media upon their return in a press conference on July 23.#