Leaders of World March of Women – Pilipinas added warm bodies to the throngs of women protesting President Rodrigo Duterte’s patriarchal rule in the country, at Luneta this afternoon. The women marched towards Liwasang Bonifacio for a program.

“Higit pang naging hungkag ang selebrasyong ito sa ilalim ni Duterte, na sa katotohanan ay matagal nang ritwal na lamang na nagtatakip sa hindi magagandang pangyayari sa ating kasaysayan,” said Jean Enriquez, National Coordinator of WMW, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), and one of the co-initiators of #BabaeAko movement. She added that the Filipino women reject Duterte’s staged commemoration of Philippine sovereignty as the latter continues to subjugate women, treat them as sexual objects while kowtowing to the Chinese government.

“If we are to assert our independence, we should speak of women’s independence and freedom from sexual violence,” declared Jelen Paclarin, Executive Director of the Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB). “The Duterte administration continue to disrespect women and leads in proliferating rape culture in our society through his misgynistic speech and unwanted sexual advances to women,” Paclarin added. She said that they will not allow this government to continue to disregard and insult women using the institutions of government, which are supposed to protect the people.

“Hungkag ang pagbibigay pugay sa Inang Bayan ng pangulong ito na nagdulot ng matinding kahirapan sa mga kababaihan sa Mindanao dahil sa kanyang batas militar; na naging dahilan ng pagkabalo ng mga kababaihan at pagkaulila ng maraming bata sa mahihirap na pamayanan dahil sa kanyang giyera laban sa droga samantalang inililigtas ang mga sindikato na nagpapakalat mismo ng droga; na tumalikod sa kanyang pangako sa mga manggagawa na ititigil ang kontraktwalisasyon,” stated Joanna Bernice Coronacion, Deputy Secretary General of Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa or SENTRO.

Judy Miranda, Secretary General of Partido Manggagawa declared, “Babae kaming Manggagawa: naninindigan laban sa TIRANYA at TRAIN ni Duterte!” She added,” di kami titigil hanggang di nakakamit ang kalayaan mula sa karahasan at gutom.”

“Hungkag ang kalayaan at soberenya hanggang ang kababaihan at mayorya ng mga anak ng Inang Bayan ay dumaranas ng pang-ekonomiyang kahirapan, pinapatay nang walang pakundangan, pinagtataksilan upang itaguyod ang interes ng makakapangyarihan,” said Clarissa Militante, another co-initiator of #BabaeAko and WMW-Pilipinas leader.

“We are women, from the ranks of workers, the urban and rural poor, farmers, progressive professional, awakened youth, indigenous, defender of human rights and of the environment,” according to the statement of WMW-Pilipinas. “Ang laban ng kababaihan ay laban ng mamamayan, ang labang ito ay para kay Inang Bayan,” it added.

“Until ALL women are free from violence, until ALL women’s voices are heard, we will continue to rage, we will continue to resist,” punctuated Paclarin.

Other members of WMW who mobilized are Bagong Kamalayan, Batis – AWARE, BUKLOD, Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA), Foundation of Media Alternatives (FMA), KAISA KA, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), SARILAYA, WomanHealth Philippines and the Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE).