Gabriela Women’s Party is not going down without a fight. The partylist on Friday, July 30, called for support after being red-tagged through an online petition on their Instagram account.
They reiterated that the pending disqualification case of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELFAC) is based on pretenses, and that the partylist will continue to stand their ground despite a pending cancellation of registration plea.
“We will not let the NTF-ELCAC, which has been notorious in red-tagging notable female celebrities and organizers of community pantries, get away with its made-up accusations to discredit and disqualify GWP,” Gabriela said in their statement.
Through several legislative bills presented in the House of Representatives, Gabriela Women’s Party has long been recognized in Congress as a defender of women’s rights, challenging President Rodrigo Duterte’s misogynistic statements and policies against Filipinas. Some of their notable bills are the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children (Anti-VAWC) Law, the Magna Carta of Women, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law, the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, the Occupational Safety, and the Health Law.
Despite all of these measures and the party’s attempt to debunk allegations, the NTF-ELCAC has still pushed to revoke Gabriela’s registration. “The Task Force is pursuing a disqualification based on false and spurious grounds of advocating violence and foreign funding, claims which GWP has repeatedly debunked in previous harassment suits,” Gabriela said.
Culture of silence
Gabriela called out the task force for their “desperate attempt” to silence the party. “NTF-ELCAC’s case is no less than a desperate attempt to shun marginalized women representation in Congress, and in effect, an attempt to render marginalized women voiceless in policymaking.”
The move by the NTF-ELCAC to remove Gabriela Women’s Party can be seen as a way to diminish the women’s movement. Considering where we are now, gender disparity in political leadership will continue to rise if women are not equally represented in the decision-making process.
“It is a sinister move to erode the very intent of the Partylist System Act to ensure proportional representation of sectors and marginalized groups, including women, in the House of Representatives,” Gabriela said.
With the gradual rise in women’s political representation, Gabriela also emphasized the importance of defending women, especially in a pandemic.“At a time when sexual abuse, violence against women, and further marginalization of women are even more rampant, we need to defend genuine women representation in Congress.”
Gabriela further urged that the NTF-ELCAC’s claim against Gabriela Women’s Party must be dismissed promptly to ensure that marginalized women are not silenced in the upcoming elections.