US-BASED WOMENS ORGANIZATION DEMANDS RELEASE OF THE GABNET 3
DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS! NO TO POLITICAL HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, REPRESSION!
The Philippine Government, headed by de facto President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has once again brandished an undemocratic, unjust and cruel rule. She has placed three GABRIELA Network (GABNet) leaders on a "watch list" and has already prohibited GABNet Chair Dr. Annalisa Enrile from returning home to Los Angeles.
On August 5th, 2007, Dr. Enrile was barred from boarding her return flight home from Manila, Philippines. Dr. Enrile was informed that she was on the "hold" list of the Phil Department of Justice. Two other GABNet leaders Ninotchka Rosca and Judith Mirkinson are reportedly on the same hold list and are likely to face the same restriction of movement. The GABNet 3 had attended the 10th bi-annual Women's International Solidarity Affair in the Philippines (July 29-August 5 2007). Dr. Enrile also led a delegation of USC Social Work Masters students on a Philippine summer immersion program.
It is no coincidence that the GABNet 3 have been targeted by the Philippine Department of Justice. They have been instrumental and most vocal in the international campaign to defend GABRIELA Women's Partylist Representative Liza Largoza-Maza who has suffered and continues to suffer intense political persecution, including baseless charges of murder and sedition. They also led last year's all-women human rights legal mission to the Philippines, a report from which points to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other military elements as perpetrators of the murders/assassinations of close to nine hundred activists, ninety of whom were women who worked closely with GABRIELA.
The scheme is obvious: harass, intimidate all the dissenters, all those who criticize Macapagal-Arroyo's regime. The GABNet 3 are virtually being held hostage by the Philippine Government. The ransom: silence from all critics – Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike. For GABNet though, such inhumane tactics leads only to heightened vigilance and determination.
We demand that the Philippine Government release the GABNet 3 so that they may return to their homes and their lives in the US. We demand that the US Embassy in the Philippines and the US Ambassador to the Philippines act on behalf of the three U.S. citizens/permanent resident and demand that the Philippine Government release them at once.
We call on our friends and allies to defend the GABNet 3. Help us get them safely home. Contact your Congressional and Senate representatives to urge their safe return. Contact via fax the US Embassy, American Citizen Service, at 011-632-522-3242 or fax the US Embassy, Ambassador Kenney, at 011-632-522-4361.