MANILA – On Independence Day, June 12, members of Lila Pilipinas an organization of comfort women, Flowers4Lolas and supporters braved the rain to protest the removal of the comfort woman statue at Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
Lila Pilipina criticized the government for allowing the removal of the statue in exchange for “billions of pesos of Japanese loan and aid for government flagship projects under the administration’s Build-Build-Build program.”
The comfort woman statue was removed on April 28. It was a memoriam for comfort women who were forced to sex slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War II. The statue bore the official marker of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and was inaugurated only last December 2017.
They hold the administration of President Duterte accountable for what they described as “bowing down” to pressures of the Japanese government instead of upholding the nation’s dignity.
The removal was defended by Duterte saying that the administration took down the statue so as “not to insult Japan.”
“The Duterte administration is complacent, by conceding to the Japanese demand to remove the comfort woman statue, in this scheme to revise history, a scheme that gravely dishonors our Lolas and their struggle for recognition and justice,” the group said in a statement.
Text by Anne Marxze D. Umil