Photos by Lito Ocampo
We have not forgotten the grisly years of
unbridled violation of human rights. Mothers grieved over children arrested,
tortured and detained for bravely defying a much-hated dictator. Wives
bewailed the death of husbands summarily executed for refusing to remain
silent in the face of onslaught against the peoples democratic rights.
Children agonized, and still do, over fathers
Their cries linger to this day. Their cries enable us to discern the unfolding of another dictatorship.
It is revolting to see unrepentant criminals and Marcos cronies back in the folds of power. Imelda Marcos, in clear mockery of ten thousand victims of Marcos human rights violations, brandishing their ill-gotten wealth. Danding Cojuangco, as godfather of land reform greedily reconcentrating and expanding his landowning. Lucio Tan, absolved of his tax crimes, being allowed to maliciously slander and violate the rights of Filipino workers and now called a hero. Romeo Jalosjos, whose political career blossomed under the Marcos dictatorship, mocking the struggle against violence against women with no less than the president commiserating with this convicted child rapist.
The peoples civil and political rights are under siege. Press freedom is being quelled by a dyspeptic president. The armed forces are brushing up on its Marcosian fascist tactics. Paramilitary groups are being revived. Suspected dissidents are being illegally arrested and even summarily executed. Intensified military operations wreak terror in the rural areas.
In the offing is a renewed move to amend the constitution, a charter change aligned towards globalization that will only exacerbate displacement, commodification and modern-day slavery of Filipino women. Preposterous amendments virtually deleting provisions for national patrimony are being introduced. Our economy and natural resources will be opened further for unrestrained plunder by foreign big business with unscrupulous local elite as cohorts. Devious moves are being made to lift term limits of public officials that smell of a dictatorship on the rise.
It is enough that our nation withstood and suffered the horror of a fascist dictatorship for two decades. We will not allow a macho-fascist president emulate an evil regime that we booted out thirteen years ago.
In the most trying times, Filipino women never failed to stand together with the rest of the nation in protest. And we will not desist especially in this time of beckoning.
Today, we enjoin all Filipino women to heed the call. Let us unite in the fight for democracy and against rising tyranny.
For details contact GABRIELA National Alliance of Women in the Philippines at telephhone numbers 371-23-02 / 374-34-51, fax number 374-44-23 and e-mail address <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Other PHOTOs from the Fashion Show: