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Women massacred twice over in Maguindanao bloodshed Maza joins all-women action for justice for women victims
Press Release Posted on November 27th, 2009.
For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0915-9329407
In commemoration of the International Day for Women Human Rights Defenders, Rep. Liza Maza today led women from Karapatan and Gabriela in an all-women protest action in Mendiola, as they called for justice for the 22 women victims in the Maguindanao massacre.
“Women victims in the Maguindanao massacre were massacred twice over--- their lives were brutally taken and they were sexually violated. I condemn in strongest terms these most reprehensible acts of violence,” Maza said, amid reports of the Department of Justice that the 22 women victims in the Maguindanao massacre were shot at their genitals.
Maza noted that two women human rights defenders, Atty. Concepcion “Connie” Brizuela and Atty. Cynthia Oquendo, were among the 57 people murdered on November 23 in Maguindanao.
According to Maza, Atty. Brizuela has long been a passionate defender of women’s rights who worked tirelessly to end state violence against women in Mindanao region. She was also one of the lawyers of Gabriela Women’s Party during the past elections and handled women human rights cases. Atty. Oquendo was also known for her activism in health-related causes and in social justice movement. Maza said that Oquendo was a member of Gabriela during her student days.
“The killing of these two women human rights defenders shows the grave threats that loom before women during the election period and the violation of their human rights, particularly their right to participate in political processes,” she asserted.
The Gabriela solon lamented that with Pres. Arroyo's comfortable ties with political warlords such as the Ampatuans, women have become more vulnerable to the forms of violence they perpetrate using state forces and para-military groups such as the Civilian Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU) and Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVO).
“We demand the dismantling of the paramilitary forces nationwide for they have long been used as private armies of political warlords.,” Maza said.
Maza also challenged the Arroyo administration to immediately issue preventive suspension orders on all Ampatuans holding public office and arrest State forces allegedly involved in the massacre. Among those police officials involved is Chief Inspector Zukarno Adil Dicay, Maguindanao PNP provincial director, who was seen by witnesses as among the armed men led by Ampatuan Jr. ###