Militant women’s partylist group Gabriela has vowed to defend itself against escalating state-instigated attacks and political persecution on progressive partylist groups and militant organizations nationwide.
Gabriela Women’s Party national president and partylist representative Liza Maza said that in the partylist organization’s recently concluded National Council meeting, they have adopted resolutions to combat head on the systematic political persecution against their partylist organization.
“We have documented several cases of illegal arrest, filing of fabricated cases, vilification campaigns and harassment against Gabriela Women’s Party and other progressive organizations nationwide, especially in Southern Tagalog and Negros island.”
Maza specifically stated the fabricated cases of arson, conspiracy to commit rebellion, multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder filed against Gabriela Women’s Party 5th Nominee and Gabriela Southern Tagalog Secretary General Helen Asdolo, Gabriela Women’s Party provincial coordinator for Cavite, Amy Sto. Tomas and 70 others from Southern Tagalog. They have been accused of participating in a raid conducted by the NPA in March 3, 2006 in Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental.
In Negros, Gabriela staff and volunteer Mary Grace Delicano, was illegaly arrested for her alleged participation in a raid conducted by the New People’s Army in Bgy. Malasibog, Escalante City in 2006. Similarly, Emilia and Marycris Quirante have been arrested after a .38 caliber pistol was purportedly found in an unspecified area of their home in Bgy. Trinidad in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.
Yesterday, Maza filed a resolution directing the House Committee on Human Rights to conduct an inquiry into the political persecution and pending arrest of Gabriela Women’s Party leaders in Southern Tagalog and 70 other activists including 18 other women on fabricated charges against them.
Maza further said, “we have also received reports that in meetings and forums conducted by the military in communities, they continue to identify Gabriela Women’s Party as a communist front and villify our leaders as terrorists.”
“We have faced similar attacks since the 2007 elections. It appears that this early in the electoral game, as Arroyo’s camp and her allies prepare their candidacies, they are likewise preparing to keep us out of 2010. They are bound to fail.”