By NORWIN GONZALES
BAGUIO CITY — Women and other sectors in Baguio city converged in the parking lot of the University of the Philippines – Baguio, on February 14 for the annual One Billion Rising (OBR) dance protest.
This year the theme is “Solidarity” and the participants urged the public to “rise, resist and unite” against the macho-fascist rule of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Baguio activity is carried out in coordination with national and international activities of the same nature.
The nationwide centralized activity was in Remedios Circle in Manila. International activities were observed in Hong Kong, among others.
In attendance in OBR Baguio were women human rights defenders (WHRDs) slapped with trumped-up charges Rachel Mariano and Joanne Villanueva.
They celebrated their posting of bail and temporary liberty and called it impossible without the help of the people’s mass movement. “We thank you and our fight continues, we will not abandon each other! Rise up against tyranny!” said Mariano.
Villanueva, meanwhile, shared on how UP Baguio had produced graduates who are freedom-loving and adamant in their defense of human rights and people-centered development. Four out of five WHRDs graduated from the university separated by decades but bound by their commitment in serving the people.
The Cordillera Women’s Education Action and Research Center (CWEARC) and Innabuyog-GABRIELA also expressed their solidarity through a message.
CWEARC Executive Director Cynthia Dacanay-Jaramillo said “that violence against women is not only physical. It can be emotional, psychological and even economic.”
She scored Duterte as a primary perpetrator of violence against women (VAW) and condemned him for his recent pronouncement to shoot New People’s Army guerrillas in the vagina.
Audrey Corce of Innabuyog-GABRIELA explained the brunt of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to women who are minimum-wage earners. She said that women, mothers have to suffer the burden of higher prices of goods due to the tax reform package.
She further criticized the proposed Charter Change (ChaCha) as a “shortcut for dictatorial rule.” She slammed the 100% foreign ownership provision of the ChaCha which will mean “more mining and more dams” in the Cordillera.
The event ended with the close to a hundred participants dancing to the OBR songs and reaffirming themselves to carry on the fight for a society when women are truly unbound. # nordis.net