PHILIPPINES: Mindanao Women Outraged over Maguindanao Carnage

Thursday, November 26, 2009
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Peace Processes
Human Rights
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Calling it as bestial act, Mindanao women expressed their outrage over the Maguindanao massacre where innocent civilians, mostly women and journalists were summarily killed in broad daylight.

“If unarmed women, lawyers and journalists are not safe, who is safe?” the Mindanao women in their statement said.

“We, the Mindanao Commission on Women (MCW) and the Mothers for Peace, express our outrage at this new law in bestiality perpetrated by men on civilians most specially on women. Rape is an issue of power, domination and control wielded by men over women. In times of conflict, it is used by men to ensure utter humiliation of the enemy,” it added.

“This latest incident by men, who are believed to belong to a private army, makes us shudder at what will happen in the days ahead if these criminals and their principals are not brought to justice,” the statement further said.

The Mindanao women also underscored that the barbaric and brutal massacre in Maguindanao shows the total breakdown of security in parts of Mindanao where many women and their families live in dehumanizing poverty and violent conflict.

“We call on President Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo as president and as a woman to do the right thing: disband and disarm the private armies, bring down the force of the law on the perpetrators, and rid Maguindanao and other parts of Mindanao of the scourge of warlordism,” said the statement, adding:

“We also call on our colleagues and partners in the development community to stand unafraid to denounce this crime loud and clear. Let us continue to work for the end of conflicts that divide us, so that our children will grow up imbibing not anger, hatred and violence but love, justice and peace.”

“As Mothers of Peace, we commit to continue our work for peace in the ways of peace,” said the MCW, a non-government organization of Mindanao women leaders whose mission is to influence public policy and public opinion and advocates for Mindanao peace and development agenda from a women's perspective.