PRESS RELEASE – 14 March 2012
Reference: Marie Hilao-Enriquez, 09175616800, SELDA chairperson
Girlie Padilla, 09088941870, Tanggol Bayi convenor
Women Martial Law victims remember sisters
Victims demand justice, press Senate to pass Indemnification Bill
On the occasion of Women’s Month this March, women Martial Law activists led women human rights defenders, victims of human rights violations and their families in a protest action at the Senate grounds today to call for
justice for Martial Law victims and push for the passage of the Indemnification Bill for Victims of Martial Law.
“Many of our sisters and colleagues are in the twilight of their years and some have gone without seeing justice realized. The passage of the Marcos Victims Compensation Bill is a way to remember and honor our martyrs,” said
Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chair of the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) as she paid tribute to her colleagues and sisters in the movement who fought against the Marcos dictatorship.
“Today, March 14 is the birthdate of Liliosa Hilao, a young student writer of Hasik, student paper of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, whose killing in 1973 inside Camp Crame, sparked a condemnation of the dictatorship
that led to many students joining the underground to fight the dictatroship in whatever form,” remembers Marie HilaoEnriquez. In 1986, when the dictatorship was toppled, Liliosa’s parents led the victims and their families in
filing a class action suit against the Marcos Estate, which won for the victims of martial law a landmark decision in the fight against impunity.
Among those who joined the protest were women human rights defenders from Tanggol Bayi-Karapatan, Desaparecidos and Hustisya, who held pictures of women martyrs and chanted “Justice to Victims of the Martial Law Regime!” in front of the Senate building.
Meanwhile, Selda welcomed the House of Representatives’ passage of House Bill 5990, titled Providing Compensation to Victims of Human Rights Violations during the Marcos Regime on March 7. Enriquez said, however, that they are disappointed at the bill’s slow pace at the Senate.
“We hope our senators look into the bill and enact it into a law amid the ongoing impeachment hearings,” she said.
SELDA has been seeking for the passage of the Marcos Victims Compensation Bill since 2003, after the Philippine Supreme Court ruled that the $630M held in escrow at the Philippine National Bank be released to the Philippine
Meanwhile, women human rights defenders group Tanggol Bayi said the call for justice should continue as women now remain under attack.
“This is a testament that we will not let dictators and even those who hide under the guise of democracy just trample on our rights. We will work hard to make human rights violators accountable,” said Tanggol Bayi convenor
Tanggol Bayi honored the likes of Lorena Barros, whose birthday is observed on March 18 and Liliosa Hilao, both of whom fought repression during Martial Law. “The lives of women like them inspire young women human rights
defenders who fight current oppressive measures imposed on us. For as long as justice is not obtained, more Lorenas and Liliosas will be born to persevere in the struggle,” Padilla said. ###