Davaos Ilagan to Push Mindanao Womens Agenda in Congress

Feb. 11, 2007

Women’s Champion. Ilagan, Gabriela’s second nominee to Congress, at an anti-Arroyo rally last year. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

DAVAO CITY When she was a councilor of this city, Luz Ilagan championed the causes of women. More than any other women legislator in the city, she was instrumental in bringing to the ublicp’s attention the various issues and concerns that confront women in Davao City.

Last week, when she was elected as the second nominee by the Gabriela Women’s Party for the upcoming midterm elections, Ilagan vowed to continue these advocacies, this time on a national level but with a particular emphasis on bringing the voice of Mindanao women to the male- and elite-dominated House of Representatives.

Ilagans selection was finalized during the partys national convention last Thursday at the Amoranto Sports Complex, Quezon City, where more than 2,500 women and delegates from various regions in the country attended.

According to the party, Ilagan would ensure that Mindanao women will have a voice in halls of the legislative arena, especially in Mindanao’s ongoing armed conflicts where women and children are usual primary casualties of violence and human rights violations.”

A true-blooded Mindanaoan, Ilagan is a mother and an educator. She is a a faculty member of the Ateneo de Davao University. She also engages in alternative education, conducting training in communities on gender sensitivity, violence against women as well as children and family health care. She has been an advocate of indigenous peoples and the marginalized sectors. She also speaks out often on current socio-economic and political issues.

Although she lives in Davao, she has been elected as the national chairperson of of the Gabriela Womens Party.

“Gabriela Women’s Party is a sectoral party dedicated to promote the rights and welfare of under-represented Filipino women through its participation in the country’s electoral system and organs of governance, Ilagan said. This coming election, we aim to have the maximum seats allowed for a party-list.”

The party, through its present representative in Congress, Liza Maza, had filed a total of 23 bills and 29 resolutions covering urgent national concerns, mainly on women and children. The party had likewise authored several other legislations upholding not only women and children’s interest and welfare but the marginalized sectors in society.

During the convention last week, several resolutions authored by delegates from Southern Mindanao were proposed. Among them: opposing the further expansion of banana plantations in the country, banning the use of aerial spraying in banana plantations, opposing the entry and continued operation of foreign large-scale mining corporations, calling for the immediate resumption of the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front, and urging the government to strictly implement the peace agreements with the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

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