Updated: Jan 3, 2019
For immediate release: January 2, 2019
Contact: Ariana Rodriguez, Secretary General of GABRIELA-LA
“We call on every Filipino in the United States to join the movement to RISE against fascism, RESIST militarization, and UNITE for self-determination by opposing the U.S.-backed Duterte dictatorship.”
On December 29, Philippine President Duterte proudly admitted he molested a woman in her sleep while she was working as his family’s maid.
The following is a statement from GABRIELA Los Angeles repeating the call for his ouster:
“This is beyond words. It comes as no surprise that such a cruel and bloodthirsty despot has also been guilty of perpetrating unspeakable violence in his personal life.
“As president, Duterte’s words are wide-reaching and potent, affecting not only legislation but the nation’s culture. His repeated sexist remarks, promotion of physical violence, and admission of sexual assault are clear indicators that he is more than unfit to lead the Philippines - he is destructive.
“This is the same president who has unflinchingly encouraged the Philippine military and police to continue their practice of raping and murdering women from urban poor, peasant, Moro, and indigenous communities.
“This is the same president who has encouraged the Philippine military to shoot female NPA guerrilla fighters ‘in their vagina’ to make them ‘useless.’
“This is the same president who has unrepentantly boasted that, as Davao City’s then-mayor, he would roam around Davao on motorbike to find people to kill and admitted to shooting them himself with his own gun, in order to ‘show police how it should be done.’
“And this is the same president who has taken over 20,000 innocent lives in his ‘War on Drugs’ and who has irreparably broken the lives of the countless children, mothers, fathers, and friends of those killed in that war.
"However, the violence against women by the fascist President Duterte is not limited to sexual assault alone. The political and socioeconomic attacks against the majority of poor and working Filipinos are worsening with the implementation of the TRAIN Law and the passage of provisions for Charter Change. These policies have made the cost of basic goods like rice unaffordable to working Filipinos, while giving tax breaks to the rich including Duterte’s own cronies. Also the recent passage of Charter Change provisions has enabled the ruling elite to increasingly monopolize their political power —further diminishing democracy and trampling on people’s rights throughout the country.
"This is why we unwaveringly call to oust Duterte and demand a new system that will truly uphold and defend the rights of all to safety, dignity, and quality of life. We call on every Filipino in the United States to join the movement to RISE against fascism, RESIST militarization, and UNITE for self-determination by opposing the U.S.-backed Duterte dictatorship.”
GABRIELA LA is a grassroots organization serving Filipinas in the Los Angeles community to address the rights and welfare of women through education, organizing, campaigns, and cultural work. We strive to build a mass movement recognizing that the problems Filipina women face are linked to the root problems of the Philippines.