Karapatan calls for the release of women political prisoners

"The Aquino government has no respect for women," Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said as their group and other organizations staged a picket protest in front of the Justice Department in preparation for the international women’s day. "Among the 491 political prisoners, 43 of these are women who face criminal trumped up charges. We call on the Department of Justice to dismiss their cases and immediately release them," Palabay said.

Free Andrea Rosal and Edwin LanzanasWomen political prisoners PH

"This includes Andrea Rosal and Miradel Torres who are jailed in Taguig City Jail," Palabay said.   Rosal and Torres are mothers who were pregnant during their arrests. Rosal gave birth to a girl only to lose her two days after. Torres had to fight to keep her son after birth and nurse him in jail. 

"Women peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of The Philippines Wilma Austria-Tiamzon and Loida Magpatoc are also incarcerated. These women who exercise their right to take part in political affairs are contained in jails because they are unjustly seen as threat to the BS Aquino government," Palabay said. 

"Of the 224 victims of extrajudicial killings under the BS Aquino government, 18 are women victims, 3 girls were raped. None of these cases were solved in court, nor its perpetrators were put to jail," Palabay said. "What good is this government if it cannot prosecute those who killed these women and keeps on arresting and jailing innocent but principled women?" Palabay said.

"Taking the lives of our sisters such as Cristina Jose, a leader of typhoon survivors, and many young girls in communities struggling for land is an unforgiveable offense. We will stand with the rest of the women and the Filipino nation on March 8 to call for BS Aquino's resignation," Palabay concluded.