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[KAISA KA] Martial Law is a War Against Women

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Martial Law is a War Against Women

 

“I will be imprisoned for you. If you rape three (women), I will say I did it.”

 

This statement shows the President’s impunity, he is not simply above the law; he is “the Law”. He is offering the women on a silver platter to the military. That it is okay to rape. He is encouraging soldiers to commit crimes—kill and rape not one but as many women as soldiers can.

 

Duterte exposes himself as a patron who would answer for the crimes of his soldiers, as what has been confirmed earlier in the case of Supt. Marvin Marcos of the PNP and other policemen accused of killing arrested suspected drug pushers or dealers but are free and continue to do their duties for Duterte.

 

He is taking responsibility for his minions’ crimes. He has consistently assured his loyal soldiers and policemen that he would back them up.

 

The “joke” shows his machismo. He sees women as subordinates and mere sex objects; all the more chilling given that women and young girls are the usual victims of rape and other forms of molestation especially in armed conflicts or war.

 

Many cases of rape and sexual abuse happen in conflict areas around the world and even here in our country. Rape committed during war is often intended to terrorize the population, destroy communities, and, in some cases, change the ethnic make-up of the next generation. Sometimes, it is used to deliberately infect women with HIV or render women in the targeted community incapable of bearing children. In this sense, rape is a tool for armed conquest and subjugation of weak nations by strong nations.

 

Duterte’s rape call is not “a joke.”  It is an expression of his insulting and demeaning attitude towards women. It exposes Duterte’s sexist, misogynistic attitude and also his lustful and lascivious desire for sex and power.

 

It denigrates soldiers, particularly women soldiers who are in their right mind. It is a blatant display of Duterte’s sick mind and muddled view of his soldiers as rapists.

What makes it more tyrannical is: he made that “joke” now that he has declared Martial Law on reasons that only fit his obsession for absolute rule. Martial law gives additional authority to the military especially now that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended all over Mindanao. Civilian authority over the military is now a mere scrap of paper.

 

With the writ of habeas corpus suspended, the military has the power to arrest, a power which was previously reserved to the police and which many policemen have abused. This power, which is now vested on the military, is like the stimulant that could unleash the animal instincts of some soldiers to rape any woman, maybe young girls, and Duterte would “cover” their crime.

 

Now more than ever, we should be vigilant. We call on our brothers and sisters in uniform to resist illegal orders and respect the rights of Filipinos.

Unite Against Rape and other forms of Assault on Women! 

Together let us RESIST Tyranny and Uphold Democratic Rights! ###

 

 

PRESS STATEMENT

Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA)

Mayo 29, 2017

Kaisa Ka

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