Partylist group Gabriela threw today its full support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s assertion of an independent foreign policy, finding the Duterte administration gradually working towards meaningful reforms while needing much improvement on its methods in addressing the problem of illegal drugs and crime in the country.
“We fully support President Rodrigo Duterte’s assertion of an independent policy and we encourage him to make policy statements a reality and abrogate existing military agreements with the United States as a significant first step in achieving this,” said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Emmi De Jesus.
Meanwhile Gabriela Rep Arlene Brosas who joined militants and progressive groups in marching towards Mendiola to mark Duterte’s first 100 days in office stressed that women and children have always been hit hardest by continued military presence in the country.
“Prostitution and sex trafficking are common occurrences in areas where US troops are stationed for rest and recreation, for military exercises or for prolonged military operations. We have all heard stories of abuse, of abandoned children and the rape and deaths of women and children. We definitely welcome President Duterte’s statements and in this aspect we will not hesitate to work with the President so that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and the Visiting Forces Agreement are abrogated,” said Brosas.
Jobs, social services: holistic, humane solution to drugs, crime
The Gabriela solons further said that while it finds the Duterte administration flawed and wanting when it comes to its solution to illegal drugs and criminality, it prods Duterte to pursue a humane and holistic approach to the problem.
“The killings have to stop. Children are falling collateral damage to the war on drugs, the latest casualties include a five-year-old girl n Zambales and a four-year-old girl in Negros Oriental,” said Brosas.
De Jesus said that the Duterte government is taking the right path by opening up to social and economic reforms being proposed in the ongoing peace negotiations. “We call on the Duterte government to concretize its promises to workers and poor families by putting an end to the policy of contractual labor and creating affordable relocation projects for workers and poor families.”
“Creating stable employment by pursuing a blueprint for genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization while providing poor Filipino families with basic social services that will aid them in their recovery from their dependence on illegal drugs is the more humane and holistic solution ot the problem of crime and illegal drugs,” De Jesus concluded.