Women’s groups to Duterte: ‘Huwag ka nang mag-SONA’

Loreben Tuquero
Women’s groups to Duterte: ‘Huwag ka nang mag-SONA’
According to the group of women advocates, the previous state of the nation addresses delivered by President Rodrigo Duterte do not encapsulate the 'real state of the nation'

MANILA, Philippines – “Duterte, ‘wag ka nang mag-SONA!” (Duterte, call off your SONA!)

This was the rallying cry of the coalition of various women’s organizations that convened on Monday, July 16.

Ahead of Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA), the #EveryWoman movement gathered  at the “SONA ng Kababaihan” at the University of the Philippines Bahay ng Alumni to call on the president to just call off his upcoming SONA.  

Teresita “Ging” Quintos-Deles, a lead convenor, said the SONA ng Kababaihan is a response to the previous SONAs that were delivered by Duterte, which, according to them, do not encapsulate the “real state of the nation.” (READ: Duterte ‘more comfortable’ in 2nd SONA)

“[Alam] namin na hindi sa kanya bibigla labas ‘yung katotohanan, baka nga po joke pa ‘yung gagawin eh. So this is our way of pushing back on that type of governance. [We] therefore decided to put together an event na ang mga kababaihan ito ay nakikitang nangyayari, ito ‘yung talagang state of the nation,” she said.

(We know that the truth will not come from him, he might even make a joke out of it. So this is our way of pushing back on that type of governance. We therefore decided to put together an event to show that this is what the women are experiencing, this is the real state of the nation.)

EVERY WOMAN. Dr. Nathalie Verceles, Director, center for Women's™ and Gender Studies speaks about Duterte's war on women during the EveryWoman SONA ng Kababaihan at the UP Bahay ng Alumni on July 16, 2018. Photo by Angie de SIlva/Rappler

Duterte has been under fire for misogynistic behavior. One of the groups that led this campaign is the #BabaeAko movement, formed as a response to his remark saying that the next ombudsman should not be a woman.

Late in June 2018, the movement was named among Time magazine’s “Most Influential People on the Internet.”

A war on women officials, [former chief justice] Sereno, Senator de Lima, Ombudsman Carpio-Morales, VP Robredo, [former] CHED Chair Licuanan, all can be interpreted as a means of disciplining women who have so courageously stood up to him,” said Nathalie Verceles, Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.

Beyond misogyny

Aside from highlighting the culture misogyny supposedly perpetrated by the Duterte administration, the group of Filipina advocates also spoke about the negative impacts of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, extrajudicial killings, and federalism on the country, highlighting how the president allowed all of these to happen under his administration.

Juliet Logan from People Power Volunteers for Reform (PPVR) Women stated that the TRAIN Law is “killing the dreams of the poor,” adding that that the lives of the Filipino poor have become more difficult because of the price hikes in commodities. (READ: EXPLAINER: How the tax reform law affects Filipino consumers)

Meanwhile, Rod Baylon, whose son Lenin Baylon was killed at age 9 by stray bullets during a raid, gave an impassioned speech on extrajudicial killings and how it affects poor families. (READ: LIST: Minors, college students killed in Duterte’s drug war)

“Ito ba’y ganti sa mga mamamayan na nagtiwala sa Pangulong Duterte na isang mamamatay-tao?” he asked in a fit of rage.

Finally, PPVR Secretary General Atty. Aleta Tolentino explained how the proposed federalist constitution will give the executive, legislative, and judicial powers to an 11-man federal transition commission, which will be headed by Duterte. (READ: Highlights of Consultative Committee’s draft constitution)

“[Power] to the people ba ‘yan and power to the regions? Hindi! Power sa kanya. Ito na ang kanyang dream come true — ang maging diktador…This is the end of our democracy, if we allow this to happen,” she said.

(Will this give power to the people and power to the regions? No! It will give him power. This is his dream come true — to become a dictator…This is the end of our democracy, if we allow this to happen.)

The EveryWoman movement will be joining the United People’s SONA on July 23. (READ: SONA 2018 security head advises Duterte not to face protesters again– Rappler.com 

Loreben Tuquero is a Communication major in Ateneo de Manila University. She is a Rappler intern. 

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Loreben Tuquero

Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.