Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) together with other women’s groups lambasted the railroading and approval of the death penalty bill at the House of Representatives in a picket outside Batasan on March 8, International Women’s Day.
“The approval last night of the death penalty bill is a major spoiler of the commemoration of International Woman’s Day today as it raises the specter of heightened state-sanctioned slaughter and abuse of poor women and Filipinos,” Gabriela Rep. Emmi De Jesus said.
“Death penalty will embolden state forces to exploit and abuse poor, vulnerable women. I am too familiar with cases wherein police forces used their badge to threaten, rape, and extort women victims,” she added.
The lady legislator also expressed serious alarm over the government’s pursuit of full-blown fascist rule without looking into the roots of crime and poverty in the country.
“Death penalty bill’s approval is a clear signal that the Duterte administration is hell-bent in legitimizing and expanding state violence amid its failure to address the demand of Filipino women and the people for genuine, substantial change,” she added.
Rep. Arlene Brosas, for her part, said wielding state violence will never remedy the infirmities in the Philippine justice system, which favor only the rich and powerful.
“We in Gabriela insist that death penalty will never deter crimes nor will it serve as entry point to supposedly fix the bankrupt justice system in the country. On the contrary, it will give rise to a darker era of fear, bloodbath and social anxiety against the backdrop of worsening quality of jobs in the country, meager wages, and abandonment of basic services,” Brosas said.
Gabriela will be staging a bigger protest in Manila at 2 p.m. to make the Duterte administration account for its promises to the people and to push forward the demand of women and the people for just and lasting peace. #