The International Women’s Alliance joins with our sisters and friends in the Philippines and internationally to express our alarm at the threat of arrest and growing harassment of our founding Chairperson Liza Maza, by the Philippine government.
The International Women’s Alliance (IWA), a global alliance of grassroots women’s organizations, institutions, alliances, networks and individuals committed to advancing women’s liberation denounces the recent issuance of arrest orders against Liza Largoza Maza, and other well-known human rights defenders and advocates, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, and former Bayan Muna party-list representatives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño, in relation to trumped-up murder charges that were previously rejected by the courts 12 years ago.
This harassment using the local judicial system is the most recent tool being used by the Duterte government and its state institutions to target well-known Philippine personalities and current leaders of the progressive people’s movement. Liza Largoza-Maza is still currently head of the government’s own National Anti-Poverty Commission, and the co-accused are all former elected officials of the Philippine Congress or Department Secretaries.
Sec. Maza is a staunch women and human rights activist, known for her leadership in the women’s movement in the Philippines and internationally and for her defense of the people’s cause. Her work as an activist legislator in Congress has been complimentary to the mass campaigns of the grassroots movements for women’s, workers’ and peasants’ rights and welfare. She brought her experience and skills when invited to serve the people through government service and now that very same government persecutes her using fabricated charges.
The Duterte government has shocked the world, and particularly women, with its unbridled war on the poor masquerading as a war on drugs, its use of military force and outright martial law to displace communities defending their right to land and education, its bludgeoning of workers that dare to organize against contractualization and poor working conditions, all the while continuing to demonize and persecute real and perceived opposition, even those offered positions in the Duterte government like Maza and Mariano.
The International women’s Alliance joins with its founding member organization GABRIELA to urge its members, friends and sisters in the struggle for the liberation of women and for basic people’s rights, to stand with Liza Maza and the women and people of the Philippines against political persecution, state fascism and tyranny.
#StopTheAttacks against Liza Maza!
#StopTheAttacks against progressive political opposition in the Philippines!
Azra Talat Sayeed
Chairperson, International Women’s Alliance
31 July 2018
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