Philippines: Where Is Luisa?, Gabriela Asks AFP

Apr. 17, 2007

17 April 2007

Reference: Rep. Liza Maza, Gabriela Womens Partylist (09209134540)
Emmi de Jesus, Gabriela Secretary General (09173221203)


Almost two decades ago, we took up the fight for Ma. Luisa Posa-Dominados freedom from the detention cells of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It is logical to come again to the doorstep of Luisas former captors, with her recent abduction, and ask: Where is Luisa now? said Rep. Liza Maza, representative of Gabriela Womens Party.

Gabriela Womens Party led the all-women protest picket in front of the Department of National Defense this morning demanding the release of Posa-Dominado, who was abducted last April 12 by armed men believed to be members of the Military Intelligence Group and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Posa-Dominado, an officer of Selda-Panay, was abducted in Iloilo last April 12 together with Nilo Arado of Bayan-Panay. Another companion, Jose Ely Liboy Garachico of the human rights rights group Karapatan was shot and now remains in critical condition. The group demanded that the AFP surface Posa-Dominado and Arado.

Luisa is the modern day Teresa Magbanua of Iloilo. She bravely and unwaveringly took up the fight of women and the people despite the many forms of political persecution and harassment she has gone through under dictatorial presidents from Ferdinand Marcos to Gloria Arroyo, added Maza. In 1980, during the Marcos dictatorship, Posa Dominado was arrested together with her daughter and were released nine years later after Gabriela launched the first Free Our Sisters, Free Oursleves campaign to free women political prisoners.

The Gabriela solon said that the recent spate of abductions of women activists and human rights workers in Panay, Cavite, and Cebu all point to the same pattern of viciousness and harassment against women human rights defender like Luisa.

With the upcoming fact-finding mission of the Inter-Parliamentary Union team, which will commence on April 18, Maza said Gabriela Womens Party will bring Luisas case, including the cases of curtailment of womens rights and liberties, to the attention of the IPU officials as vivid manifestations of a government and military that has gone madly obsessed in violating the peoples right to life as well as their democratic rights.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a hardened criminal. She and her armed group will not cease attacking the rights of the people notwithstanding the international condemnation her government is getting, said Gabriela secretary general Emmi de Jesus.

The only way these attacks will cease is to oust Gloria and that the people will do soon enough, said de Jesus. ###

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