Pinoy Weekly —-
Thousands march and dance from Quezon City Memorial Circle to UP Diliman for the One Billion Rising for Justice on Feb. 14. Macky Macaspac
Upping the ante in its call to action to end violence against women, this year’s One Billion Rising for Justice (OBR4J) in the Philippines called for justice for all women victims under what it calls a “disaster presidency” under Benigno Aquino III.
The whole-day, country-wide affair featured flash mobs near “places of injustice” such as the Malacanang Palace, the National Housing Authority, schools and other places, as well as creative performances and political speeches condemning various forms of violence against women and children.
In Mendiola near Malacanang in the morning of Feb. 14, women activists and members of community-based women’s groups danced, while others held up placards calling for justice for victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and taking the Aquino administration to task for its “criminal negligence” on the ensuing humanitarian crisis.
In the afternoon, thousands of participants held a colorful cultural parade from Quezon City Memorial Circle to University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, where a huge cultural program was held to culminate this year’s OBR4J campaign.
“After Yolanda hit the country, the Aquino administration has proven itself as a major disaster to the lives of the victims. Instead of acting in response to the need of the victims, (it) has been pushing for public-private partnership to rebuild the affected areas,” said Joms Salvador, Gabriela secretary-general.
The thousands of women and men who participated in the OBR4J events also called to public attention the corruption issues, especially pork barrel and Disbursement Acceleration Program, implicating the Aquino administration, as well as the increasingly high prices of basic commodities and utilities.
As with last year’s “rising,” the protesters noted that the present administration also recorded the highest number of cases of violence against women. They have taken the President to task for the impunity that revails in the country.
OBR4J was led by women’s groups Gabriela and Gabriela Women’s Party, pioneering theater group New Voice Company and participated in by countless grassroots organizations, schools, workers’ unions, government employees’ and teachers’ unions, local government agencies, youth groups,
Women worse off under Aquino