Rep. Ilagan also served as OIC City Councilor in Davao City from 1986 to 1988 and then as an elected Councilor from 1998 to 2001. She was among those who worked for the passage of the Davao City Women Development Code, the first of its kind in the Philippines and which has served as a model for other LGUs.

Representative Emmi A. De Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Party would have been a physicist had she not been roused to activism by the fascism of the Martial Law era. She has been an advocate for women’s rights and the genuine emancipation of the Filipino people from exploitation and oppression for over three decades now. She was among the 10,000 women who, in April 1984, participated in the demonstration in Manila to defy then Filipino dictator President Marcos’ decree against the people’s exercise of their civil and political rights.