Only days after the International Day to End Violence against Women, Amanda Echanis, daughter of murdered peasant leader Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis, together with her newborn, Baby Randall, was illegally arrested under false charges of possession of firearms and explosives in the Cagayan Valley region.  She is an organizer with the peasant women group, AMIHAN,  an artist, and a mother.  Amanda’s arrest is a direct attack on all Filipina women and children in the Philippines and abroad.  GABRIELA USA demands the immediate and unconditional release of Amanda Echanis and Baby Randall.


In the long list of human rights violations under Duterte’s fascist government, the illegal arrest of Echanis and her one-month old child is not the first illustration of the sheer disregard for the concerns of peasant and working class women or their children. It has only been weeks since Baby River, the three-month old daughter of human rights activist and Kadamay member Reina Mae Nasino, died after being separated from her mother, who was arrested under the same false pretenses as Echanis.


“Women and mothers in the Philippines are faced with a global pandemic and dealing with the aftermath in the wake of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses,” said Irma Shauf-Bajar, “ now illegally arresting and jailing a mother with her newborn. Instead of concerning itself with the welfare of the entire Filipino nation, Duterte focuses time, energy and resources on these targeted and fascist attacks against defenders of human rights in the Philippines.”


The Philippine Commission on Human Rights has appealed to the Philippine National Police to give due consideration to Echanis’ newborn son while treating her humanely as the case is being processed.


“Considering that Echanis just gave birth, CHR reminds concerned authorities to give primordial consideration to the welfare of the one-month old baby as required by the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders or the Bangkok Rules,” CHR said in a statement posted on its social media accounts.


This government’s pattern of attacks and arrests comes at a time of an intensifying campaign against activists and the sustained red-tagging of progressive groups.  We must continue to denounce these heinous crimes by Duterte amidst the ever worsening crisis under the current global pandemic and in the aftermath of two major calamities that have hit the archipelago.  GABRIELA USA joins in the demand for the immediate release of Amanda Echanis and baby Randall. We will settle for no less than their freedom.







Filipino Women Resist President Duterte’s Fascist Regime

For Immediate Release
February 25, 2018
Contact: Irma Shauf-Bajar, National Chairperson,

Filipino Women Resist President Duterte’s Fascist Regime

Today, February 25, 2018 marks the 32nd Anniversary of the EDSA People Power movement and the end of Ferdinand Marcos’s 21 years as president and dictator of the Philippines. Like Marcos, President Duterte has taken the bloody road in an attempt to impose a full dictatorship over the country, which promises more repression and killings on top of the already 14,000 people killed by his regime. GABRIELA USA stands with the Filipino people and the rapidly growing international community who demand for Duterte to stop the killings and never again to dictatorship in the Philippines!

Last week, members of GABRIELA New York and church workers were in General Santos City in Mindanao as part of an international solidarity fact-finding mission delegation. They were observing a psychosocial intervention program implemented by GABRIELA Philippines, where they are currently serving T’boli-Manobo communities who were victims of a massacre allegedly committed by military elements. The delegation was stopped at five Philippine military checkpoints and prevented from completing their scheduled activities due to the confiscation of their passports and being detained at the immigration office. There was no just cause for the detention of the delegation.

“The U.S.-Duterte regime is engaging in tactics to cover up and prevent the public from witnessing the heightened militarization and all-out war against the Filipino people. It is our duty to continue to expose and condemn the Philippine military’s ongoing human rights violations and abuses,” said Irma Shauf-Bajar, Chairperson of GABRIELA USA. “We stand with the Filipino people, our sisters and the international community in resisting militarization and demanding an end to this fascist dictatorship!”

Since U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the Philippines in November 2017, state-sanctioned violence against indigenous people, workers, peasants, and human rights defenders has sharply escalated.  GABRIELA USA views this as unsurprising, given that Trump’s visit led to deals which secured U.S.-led foreign domination of the country, including $14.3 million in U.S. military spending for Duterte’s armed forces. At the same time, U.S. military presence in the Philippines is expanding under the U.S. “counter-terror” Operation Pacific Eagle; we expect this to directly contribute to even more politically-motivated killings and repression. It is clearly the U.S.-Duterte regime that continues to attack the most vulnerable and marginalized communities with impunity – violating both the people and the nation’s sovereignty.

On this anniversary of the EDSA People Power Movement, let us continue to Rise, Resist and Unite against the fascist U.S.-Duterte regime. We urge you to join MALAYA: U.S. Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship, and for Democracy in the Philippines. Please sign this  PETITION  to demand to Stop the Killings and prevent a new dictatorship in the Philippines and share it widely.


Filipino American Women Outraged by Duterte’s Misogynistic Remarks and Call for International Solidarity

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2018

Contact: Irma Shauf-Bajar, National Chairperson,


Filipino American Women Outraged by Duterte’s Misogynistic Remarks and Call for International Solidarity


Members of GABRIELA USA denounce President Duterte’s fascist and violent misogynistic order to “shoot female rebels in their vagina.” Duterte said, “If there is no vagina, it would be useless,” implying that women are useless without their genitals. From the beginning of his presidency, Duterte has made several misogynistic comments towards women, including rape jokes which encourage the Armed Forces of the Philippines to commit violence against women and use rape as a tool of war. This is utterly reprehensible and must be condemned.

As GABRIELA USA, we must expose and oppose the U.S. backed fascist Duterte regime, that has killed over 13,000 Filipinos through the so called “war on drugs,” displaced more than 400,000 people in Mindanao because of martial law, and Duterte’s counterinsurgency program, “Oplan Kapayapaan,” that continues to target activists through killings, illegal arrests, and other human rights violations.

Duterte’s macho-fascist comments are violent and dangerous, as it will allow for not only his army but also encourages all men to continue to fuel violence against women. We must recognize that Duterte’s remarks on women stems from the Philippines’ feudal-patriarchal and imperialist structure. Duterte and the ruling class benefit from a system that abuses and exploits the majority of Filipinos, keeping them in poverty. This explains why many Filipinos, including women, join the New People’s Army, to engage in armed struggle for genuine liberation for the Filipino people.

GABRIELA USA calls on our family, friends, community, and allies to join us as we RISE against Duterte’s fascist regime, RESIST militarization of our homeland and bodies, and UNITE against the macho-fascist Duterte regime to oust him from office! We invite our community to join us on February 14th for One Billion Rising, a global campaign to end violence against women and on March 8th to commemorate International Working Women’s Day.


RISE against Fascism! RESIST Militarization! UNITE in solidarity for self determination!

End Violence Against Women Now!

Oust the US-Duterte Regime!



GABRIELA USA Continues Revolutionary Spirit and Uphold Legacy of International Working Women’s Day

For Immediate Release
March 8, 2017
Reference: Irma Shauf-Bajar, GABRIELA USA Chairperson,

March 8th, 2017 marks the commemoration of 108th Anniversary of International Working Women’s Day (IWWD) around the world, and here in the US millions are striking and taking action amidst the oppressive political climate that devalues women.

This IWWD, GABRIELA USA, an overseas chapter of GABRIELA National Alliance in the Philippines, with local organizations in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Portland, and Washington DC, will join millions nationwide to RISE against Fascism, RESIST militarization, and UNITE for Liberation.

As violence escalates against our communities, we will not stay silent or live in fear. As Filipino women we vow to rise against neoliberal and anti-people policies that pit communities against each other. We will stand with our Muslim, Black, and immigrant brothers and sisters, and all women who hold communities together and are fighting for their lives. We rise with our trans and gender nonconforming youth and communities as we see the blatant attacks.

We resist the Trump administration which caters to the rich at the expense of the majority of the people. We refuse to accept policies that further oppress women, working class families, and immigrants. Internationally, we know that our struggles are ultimately tied to one another, as is our liberation. Women will never be free until we take down the capitalist economy, which is the root of the crisis that plagues us all and which spurs imperialist wars of aggression.

GABRIELA USA affirms our commitment to build a militant women’s movement towards people’s emancipation. We must RISE to defend our countries from foreign aggression, RESIST militarization and defend our sovereignty and UNITE towards national and social liberation. Let us continue to uphold the legacy of March 8 International Working Women’s Day and build our collective resistance to end all forms of violence against the people, including state repression, fascism, militarization and wars of aggression.

GABRIELA Washington, D.C. Stands with Muslim and Immigrant Communities in Fighting U.S. Fascism and Imperialism

For Immediate Release
January 26, 2017
Reference: Sylvia Guerrero, Co-Chairperson GABRIELA D.C.

GABRIELA Washington, D.C. stands with Muslim, migrant and refugee communities in calling for the D.C. City Council members to support communities under attack by U.S. President Trump’s anti-people policies. In less than one week in office, President Trump has issued executive orders that essentially target vulnerable communities as the new administration aims to limit and ban entry of persons into the U.S. from countries that are predominantly Muslim, and instead invest more funding in law enforcement and military spending. The executive orders announced yesterday on January 25, 2017, include a $26 billion tax-payer dollars towards a border “wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border, a 50,000 cap on the number of refugees to be admitted into the U.S. for 2017, an increase in safe zones in the U.S., and budget cuts on Sanctuary city programs.

The new administration claims the executive orders are efforts to address the security needs of the U.S. in fear of foreign-born nationals who are presumed to be the biggest threat to the nation and have been labeled as “terrorists.” During Trump’s presidential campaign he also labeled Filipinos as “animals” from “terrorists” nations. While these blatant remarks against immigrants have stirred widespread fear and repression among communities, these executive orders only prove who the real “bully” is.

“With over 6,000 Filipinos leaving our home country every day, we as migrants are pushed out of our country, because there is poverty, landlessness, unemployment, and lack of national industrialization where we came from. Essentially we are forced to migrate and seek jobs abroad just to put food on the table and send money back to our families,” stated Janet Gardose, Vice-Chairperson of GABRIELA USA.

In the Philippines, social-economic conditions are impacted by U.S. intervention and militarization. The Philippine government is a puppet regime of the U.S., implementing its own imperialist agenda in the country. Instead of focusing on pro-people policies that would promote economic and social sustainability, the Philippine administration has a history of prioritizing U.S. interests before its own people. As one of the largest recipients of U.S. military aid/funding and with thousands of U.S. troops being deployed to the Philippines (even more than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined), the Philippines is used as a base for the U.S. to protect its own gains, such as natural resources, goods, and products in our country and corporate interests in the Asia-Pacific region. “U.S. Imperialism remains the “bully” in our homelands and the number one threat to the Filipino people,” sited Jo Quiambao, Secretary-General of GABRIELA D.C.

In countries, like Syria, Iran, and Yemen, whose people now face a ban of entry in the U.S. are also countries that have experienced and suffered through wars of aggression, fully supported by the U.S. government. While Trump plans to ban people from these countries, it is important to be reminded that the U.S., with previous administrations before, has implemented airstrikes, drone attacks, and deployed thousands of military to these nations. The true threat is and has been U.S. Imperialist power advancing its global, capitalist agenda by repressing people using fascist tactics to divide and conquer, to secure its own advances by feeding the US’s war agenda here and abroad.

GABRIELA D.C., recognizes that the anti-people policies of the Trump administration will only exacerbate attacks on Muslim and immigrant communities – increasing the threat of arrests, deportation, discrimination, and violence. GABRIELA members are in solidarity with other immigrant and Muslim communities in calling for a firm commitment from the D.C. City Council and D.C. Mayor Bowser in making D.C. a Sanctuary City for all. With the strong urgency for immigrants, workers, and the most marginalized in our communities to keep organizing and be protective in the face of such attacks in Washington, D.C., the D.C.City Council must also take a stand to protect vulnerable peoples. As GABRIELA D.C. we call on local and national organizations to keep advancing social justice, people’s movement work in educating and mobilizing our people and strive to form a stronger united front with allies against U.S. Imperialism both here in the district and abroad.

Long Live International Solidarity!
Ang Tao, Ang Bayan! Ngayon Ay Lumalaban!
The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

GABRIELA USA mobilizes with millions nationwide at the Women’s March

For Immediate Release
January 23, 2017
Reference: Irma Shauf-Bajar, Chairperson,

On January 21st, GABRIELA USA mobilized with millions of people across the nation in the Women’s March, the biggest one-day protest in U.S. history, and raised their collective voice under the banner of RISE, RESIST, UNITE. In Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C, GABRIELA USA members alongside allies took to the streets with power and grit in protest of Trump, reminding the world that “Women Hold up Half the Sky.”

Trump’s presidency and the rise of neo-fascism in the U.S. is an effect of the crisis of the current capitalist system and neoliberal policies, which puts people’s rights and welfare secondary to what will create profit. Trump and his administration have proposed plans to cut healthcare, specifically to cut funds that go to women’s reproductive health and plans to eliminate all Department of Justice grants – amounting to nearly 500 million dollars – that support cases of violence against women. GABRIELA USA recognizes that it is low-income women of color, immigrant women workers, Trans and Gender non-conforming people and our children that will bear the brunt of the harm that these policies inflict.

Trump’s administration will continue to fuel the crisis of a global imperialist system and its effect on countries around the world — poverty, hunger, homelessness, gentrification, militarization, state-sponsored violence, unemployment, and lack of access to basic necessities such as clean water, food, shelter, education, and healthcare. Trump has already signed an executive order that reinstates a federal ban on U.S. funding for international health organizations that counsel women on family planning options whose work is associated with abortion in any way.

“Unity is the only way forward and will be our protection for one another in resisting a Trump presidency. We must not be fooled and lose sight of the real enemy that wants to divide us here at home, and blind us from what it is doing to the people in other countries. We must Rise, Resist, Unite!” said Chairperson Irma Shauf-Bajar at the Women’s March in Oakland.

GABRIELA USA will continue to organize in our communities and stands in solidarity with our allies to fight against U.S. imperialism, fascism, and the current capitalist system. GABRIELA USA urges all people to join an organization and continue to take action beyond this weekend’s protests.

RISE against Fascism, RESIST Militarization, and UNITE for Liberation!


GABRIELA USA denounces the violent dispersal of the protest action led by National Minorities at the US Embassy in Manila on the morning of 10/19.

SANDUGO, a newly formed alliance of National Minorities (peoples indigenous to the Philippines) fighting against militarization of their communities and foreign plunder of their resources held a peaceful protest outside of the US Embassy. At the end of their rally and as groups were preparing to leave, they were met by members of Philippine National Police (PNP) who began spraying tear gas, attacking protesters with truncheons and arresting resisting protesters, including minors. The violence continued as a police van aggressively drove into the contingent several times, running over several. At least 50 people were injured.

The violent dispersal shows the fascist and mercenary character of the PNP.

GABRIELA USA is outraged by this brazen act of violence and demands that Col. Marcelino Pedrozo and his policemen be held accountable for the violent dispersal of a peaceful assembly of national minorities calling for land, rights and just peace.

GABRIELA USA Remembers Jennifer Laude and Demand Justice

Filipina American women of GABRIELA USA remember Jennifer Laude on the 2nd anniversary of her murder by U.S. Soldier Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton. GABRIELA USA demands accountability and justice for Jennifer’s life, a trans woman who has fallen victim to U.S. militarization!

“We urge President Duterte to order the immediate transfer of Pemberton to a Philippine prison and keep his word of protecting the Filipino people. We are hopeful that the president will defend Philippine sovereignty by not allowing U.S. troops to occupy Philippine soil through the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA),” states Irma Shauf-Bajar, chairperson of GABRIELA USA.

GABRIELA USA continues to extend our sympathies to Jennifer’s family, and honor the lives of all trans people who have fallen victim to a system that does not value trans lives and perpetuates a culture of violence. GABRIELA USA will continue to educate, organize, and mobilize our communities and allies to demand for the swift turnover of the U.S. Marine to Philippine authorities.

Video:GABRIELA USA Remembers Jennifer Laude

​Justice for Jennifer Laude!
Trans Lives Matter!
US Troops OUT of the Philippines!
Scrap EDCA!

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

For Immediate Release
September 29, 2016
Contact: Irma Shauf-Bajar, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA,

Stop NBC’s “Mail Order Family” Comedy!

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.



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

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!