By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region (BicolToday.com/10-Mar-2013) – Issues on environment, large-scale mining, violence on communities, and militarization and foreign government intervention were raised by various groups in commemorating International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8. The issues raised have already shown that the country’s women sector is already politicized and social-aware, stakeholders informed Bicol Today.com on Saturday.
Kabataan Pertylist declared that in commemoration of the International Women’s Day, they and other youth groups marched along with women’s rights advocates in Manila to protest the rape of the nation’s sovereignty and environment.
“On Women’s Day, we seek not only to end all violence perpetrated against women but also to address the primordial roots of violence in our country – the continued and intensifying foreign exploitation of our sovereignty and environment,” said Atty. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist President.
“Why do we say that violence emanates from foreign intervention and exploitation? Throughout history, violence has been perpetrated by invaders upon conquest of new lands. From the Spaniards to the continuing domination of the Americans, our nation has continuously been beaten and persecuted to the point of subjugation,” Ridon said.
Various groups joined Friday’s march to observe Women’s Day, and their move was synchronized with rallies by other women groups in other countries.
Kabataan Partylist second nominee Bai Ali Indayla pointed out that freedom from foreign intervention and exploitation is central to eradicating violence, especially those perpetrated to women. “With foreign troops continuing to march on our lands and seas, there is no end to violence. To end violence against women is therefore tantamount to expelling foreign intervention and defending our sovereignty,” Indayla said.
They claimed the natural resources of the Philippines have continuously been exploited by multinational companies, to a point wherein even communities and lives are lost.
“Indeed, what foreign multinational corporations have done in our country’s forests, mountains and seas is rape of the highest order. Big firms and business interests have caused massive destruction not just of mineral reserves, but of thousands of innocent lives,” Indayla said.
Kabataan Partylist noted recent incidents such as the dumping of toxic wastes in Subic Bay by a US naval ship, the grounding of a US warship in Tubbataha Reef that caused massive damage in the world heritage site, and hundreds of cases of destructive mining, the latest of which is the Tampakan copper and gold mining project in South Cotabato.
“Where foreign troops go, lives are lost, women are abused, and our sovereignty is raped. To end violence perpetrated against women and the country, we must rise up to the challenge – let us expel foreign troops and destructive multinational companies in the Philippines. Women and citizens of the country, unite!” Indayla declared.[BicolToday.com]