November 8, 2010
“Since the issue of the Filipino comfort women was first made known to the public in 1991, justice remains elusive to this day,” said Representative Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Women’s Party as a house resolution is filed today expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Philippine Government urges the Government of Japan to formally acknowledge, apologize for, and accept its responsibility to the comfort women and provide compensation for the victims.
“We call on President Aquino to take a firm position in behalf of the Filipino comfort women. We also appeal to the public to join the call for justice and urge the President to bring up the issue during his official state visit to Japan on November 14,” said GWP Representative Emmi de Jesus who co-authored the house resolution.
Despite having Filipina victims estimated to reach thousands, the Philippines is the only country in the world that chose not to support the claims of its comfort women. Instead, the government upheld the San Francisco Peace Pact where the State allegedly waived all further claims for compensation in exchange for nominal war reparations.
The issue of the comfort women was first made public when three Korean women came out during the Asian Conference on Traffic in Women in December 1991 to recount how they were made sex slaves of the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. On September 1992, Lola Rosa Henson, came out and disclosed her experiences as a Japanese military sex slave in World War II. The Filipino comfort women have since then raised their collective voice and face and strongly demand that the Japanese government recognize its state responsibility. More than 65 bona fide comfort women members of Lila Pilipina, an organization of Filipina comfort women, have died since they started taking up the issue in 1991.
“These “lolas” continue to suffer not only because they were sexually abused and tortured by the Japanese Imperial Army, but also because successive Philippine government administrations continued to ignore their demands for justice. Will P-noy have the temerity to show his face to these lolas when he comes back from Japan? The Lolas have not forgetten their horrible experiences, and will continue to fight to their last breath,” Rep. Ilagan declared.
“By continuing to turn a blind eye to the violence committed against the comfort women, and by perpetuating its culture of subservience to foreign superpowers, the P-noy government serves as an accomplice to the sexual abuse done by the Japanese Imperial Army to the comfort women everywhere. The war may have ended more than half a century ago, but they are still being victimized by denial of justice for them,” Rep. De Jesus ended.
Representative EMMI DE JESUS
Gabriela Women’s Party
“Babae, Bata, OFWs at Bayan…. Tuloy ang Laban!”