GABRIELA USA Says Women’s Issues Are Not a Joke!

For Immediate Release
September 29, 2016
Contact: Irma Shauf-Bajar, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com

Stop NBC’s “Mail Order Family” Comedy!
SIGN PETITION NOW!

Exploitation and violence against Filipino women is not entertainment! NBC’s “Mail Order Family” is slated as a half hour “comedy” following a widower who purchased a mail order bride from the Philippines. “Mail Order Family” is the most recent example of how the exploitation and violence women face is normalized in U.S. mainstream media. The mail order bride industry in the Philippines is rooted in historical U.S. colonial occupation of the Philippines, feudal-patriarchal view of Filipinas, and current neo-colonial economic policies that have impoverished the Filipino people.

Mail order-brides are vulnerable to violence because of the fundamentally unequal nature and imbalance of power where money is exchanged for an arranged marriage. Many mail-order brides become vulnerable to violence because they may be financially dependent on their husband, are isolated in a foreign country, and husbands can easily threaten them with deportation.

We remember Susana Blackwell, a Filipina mail-order bride who was shot and killed at point blank along with two of her Filipina friends by her abusive husband at a divorce proceeding in 1995 in Seattle. Members of GABRIELA Seattle have participated in an annual vigil for the past several years, remembering the lives of Susana Blackwell and her unborn child, as well as Phoebe Dizon and Veronica Laurete Johnson–Blackwell’s two friends who were also killed. “Human trafficking of mail order brides and outright abuse and murder of Filipinas here in the U.S. must not be forgotten and must end,” stated Precious Butiu, GABRIELA Seattle member and GABRIELA USA National Executive Officer.

GABRIELA USA condemns NBC for making light of the exploitation and violence against Filipino women via the mail order bride system and calls for the immediate cancellation of “Mail Order Family.”

We acknowledge that the widespread poverty that forces Filipina women to leave their homeland and become mail order brides is rooted in the colonial history of the country and the continued domination of the Philippine economy and politics by US imperialism, which has impeded the social and economic development of the Philippines. GABRIELA USA calls for an end to the unequal and neo-colonial relationship between the Philippines and the U.S.

CANCEL NBC’S “MAIL ORDER FAMILY” NOW!
FILIPINAS ARE NOT FOR SALE!
EXPLOITATION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST FILIPINAS IS NOT ENTERTAINMENT!
STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!

GABRIELA USA SAYS NO TO MARCOS HERO BURIAL

For Immediate Release
September 08, 2016
Contact: Pyxie Castillo, Dep. Secretary General, GABRIELA USA, gabrielawomen@gmail.com

GABRIELA USA stands with our kababayan around the globe to tell President Duterte to steer away from Marcosian solutions in leading the nation, and that Ferdinand Marcos is the wrong person to emulate or even honor with a hero’s burial.

The Marcos dictatorship continues to impact the Philippines today. Marcos’ plunder, corruption, and countless acts of human rights violations stands as his legacy amongst the Filipino people and all who know the history of and who lived through Martial Law in the Philippines.

“There are many members of GABRIELA who were victims of Martial Law and among the countless Filipino women who were wrongly tortured and imprisoned. There were many of our family and friends who were killed because of the Marcos dictatorship. Leaving their children and families behind without apology or explanation,” said Irma Bajar, Chairperson of GABRIELA USA.

To give Marcos a hero’s burial tells the wrong message to our future generations. To bury Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) is to whitewash his crimes against the Filipino people. We must not allow his tyranny, disrespect for due process and the rule of law, torture and deaths of thousands, and corruption to be glossed over.

No to Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani!
Marcos Is No Hero!

GABRIELA USA Stands with Davao City Bombing Victims and Opposes US Intervention

For Immediate Release
September 6, 2016
Contact: Irma Bajar, Chairperson, gabrielawomen@gmail.com

Members of GABRIELA USA express our deepest sympathy for the victims of the September 2 bombing at a night market in Davao City. We condemn the heinous terror attack that killed fourteen people and injured 67 others.

GABRIELA USA calls on President Rodrigo Duterte to stand with Davaoenos and the rest of the Filipino people in seeking justice for the victims. While the perpetrators of the terror attack should be brought to justice, we find it alarming that President Duterte has declared a “state of lawlessness”

in the country. His declaration should have clearly defined parameters, otherwise state forces such as the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines will have carte blanche to arrest innocent civilians and commit other human rights violations against the people, under the guise of countering terrorism.

Past puppet Philippine presidents and their regimes have allowed the US to deploy troops to the Philippines, in their support of the US so-called War on Terror. But the presence of US troops in the Philippines puts the US in a favorable position to carry out military intervention in the country and push forward its economic and political agendas. The US is once again attempting to assert their presence in the country, as US National Security Council spokesperson, Ned Price, recently stated that the US is ready to provide assistance in the investigation of the bombing.

“We oppose any moves by the US government to use the recent bombing in Davao as justification for US intervention and to further militarize the Philippines,” stated Irma Bajar, national Chairperson of GABRIELA USA. “There is a strong possibility that the recent bombing in Mindanao may be an attempt to create chaos and destabilize the country and we oppose all efforts to increase deployment of US troops to the country, as well as sending of additional war equipment via anti-terror aid from the US.”

GABRIELA USA also opposes any attempts to use the Davao bombing incident to sabotage the Peace Talks that have recently resumed between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The next round of the Peace Talks, set to take place in October 2016, will address comprehensive socio-economic reforms such as agrarian reform, national industrialization, rights of working people and social services, and environmental protection.

“As we remember the victims of the Davao bombing, the best way we can achieve a just and lasting peace in Davao and in the entire country is by supporting the continuation of the Peace Talks and opposing all forms of US intervention in the process. We call on all GABRIELA members and supporters to learn more about the Peace Talks and the fundamental changes it will bring that will benefit women, children, and their families,” stated Bajar.

Justice for Victims of Davao Bombing!
Stop US Intervention in the Philippines!