Saturday, 19th August 2017
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‘Gov’t protecting Laude slay suspect more than Filipinos’

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By Ralph John Mijares

 

ROXAS CITY — The government is “protecting” US Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the prime suspect in the death of transgender woman Jennifer Laude, international actor Monique Wilson said.


Wilson addressed the local media for One Billion Rising, a global initiative condemning violence and abuse against women and economic, environmental, racial, gender injustice Oct 30 here.


“Si Pemberton, na nasa Camp Aguinaldo daw, mas valued ang buhay niya kaysa sa buhay ng isang Filipino. ‘Yan ang problema ng government natin,” Wilson said.


“Bakit mas valuable ang buhay ng isang dayuhan at bakit hindi tayo [mga Filipino] ang binibigyan ng the most value na pwede ibigay sa atin," Wilson asked saying that there is economic inequality among Filipinos.


“Napakapowerful ng [United States] government na nagproprotect sa kanya at napaka-tuta ng government natin which is also protecting him, (The government protecting Pemberton is power and our government which is also protecting him is submissive)” Wilson said.

 

A member of women’s group, Gabriela, Wilson also slammed those who assumed that Laude was killed because she lied to Pemberton about her gender. “Sapat ba yun [na dahilan] para patayin siya? (Is that reasonable enough to kill her)”


Elma Deanon of Gabriela said that the Visiting Forces Agreement should be junked it makes women “more vulnerable to abuse.”


‘Economic Violence’


Aside from physical and sexual abuse, Filipinas also suffer from "economic violence", Wilson said.


Poverty could make women and youth, the most vulnerable sectors of society, subject to exploitation, Wilson said.


One example she cited is the story of some 9-10 year old girls selling their flesh for P 15-20 for them to be able to commute to school.


Some women also resort to being Overseas Filipino Workers which could also make them prone to any form of abuse.


"Hindi na natin iaapprove ang lip service ng gobyerno. Hindi na natin iaacept ang bulok na sistema na kung saan lahat ng violence and corruption ay nakatali at ang nagsu-suffer ay ang ating mga kababayan," Wilson said challenging the government to change its ways.


According to the Roxas City chapter of Gabriela, some fisher folk families eat lugaw (rice porridge) every day for their survival.


Making things worse is that the last quarter of the year, they say, being a rough time for fishermen because of the amihan (northeastern monsoon) which affects their income.

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