‘Lakbay Serbisyo’ Hits Public Markets; Womens’ Group Condemn Arrest of Morong 43

March 2, 2010

Market vendors, drivers and residents were treated to a free massage amid a long day’s work during the second leg of Lakbay Serbisyo, an ongoing social service mission held at the public markets of Santa Rosa City and Cabuyao, Laguna on March 2.

Lakbay Serbisyo is spearheaded by Gabriela Women’s Party – Southern Tagalog (GWP-ST). It is being held simultaneous with the regionally coordinated Mobile Campaign Centers (MCC) as a weeklong preparation for the 100th International Women’s Day celebration to be held on March 8 in Calamba City.

Meanwhile, MCCs were also set up at the Naic Public Market in Cavite province in cooperation with fellow MAKABAYAN party-list candidate, Anakpawis Partylist.

One of GWP’s thrust is to highlight the need to bring health care and other basic social services to those who need it. Nonie Entena, GWP-ST regional coordinator, GWP vice chairperson for Luzon and 5th nominee, said that government allocation for health care has always been inadequate and that the military receives greater budget allocation than basic social services. “It is ironic especially now that the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) has already revealed its true colors by arresting and detaining volunteer health workers without ample legal basis,” she added.

GWP-ST condemns AFP’s arrest of the so-called Morong 43. Twenty-six among the detained health workers were women.

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GWP Representative Liza Maza recently filed House Resolution 1590 to urge the House of Representative Committee on Human Rights to conduct immediate investigation on the cases of sexual abuse committed against some of the detained women health workers belonging to Morong 43.

Last night, 7 detainees were arbitrarily taken out of Camp Capinpin by the military. Four were returned early in the morning today while the other 3 are not yet in the detention center as of press time. They were identified as Paulino Valentin, Cherilyn Tawagon and Ellen Carandang.

“The fight to stop violence against women is a people’s fight for social justice,” Entena said. According to her, GWP-ST calls not only for the freedom of the 26 women health workers but for the 43 detainees altogether.

“GWP-ST celebrates the triumphs of Filipino women all through the years but it also recognizes the fact that the struggles of women can only be won through the collective action of the broader sectors of the society,” she furthered.

Nonie Entena, Gabriela Women’s Party–Southern Tagalog (GWP-ST) Regional Coordinator, GWP Vice Chairperson for Luzon, GWP 5th Nominee

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