Erika Sauler | Philippine Daily Inquirer
Video by Ryan Leagogo/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines – A movement calling for an end to violence against women has added another item to its agenda: To press for the resignation of President Aquino over the controversial police operation in Maguindanao province that left 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers dead.
“How can we change the system if we don’t replace those who can’t lead our nation well?” actor Monique Wilson, One Billion Rising (OBR) Revolution global director, told the 3,000 dance mob participants from various sectors at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila on Saturday.
The Feb. 14 event, joined by around 200 countries, kicked off the campaign leading to International Women’s Day on March 8. The campaign uses dancing to demand the systemic change of structures which oppress women from different social sectors.
The movement, which is now in its third year, called on Aquino to step down as its members demanded truth and accountability in the Jan. 25 Mamasapano operation that killed 44 police commandos.
The One Billion Rising, led by militant women’s group Gabriela, proposed the formation of a transition council to pave the way for the next elections.
At the same time, labor groups called for a P16,000 national minimum wage and an end to contractualization. Other OBR issues were mining, imperialism, militarization, sex trafficking and demolition.
“The revolution requires patience, energy, creativity and solidarity,” Wilson said. “The most valuable aspect of OBR is global solidarity. We are not alone in our struggles. Our calls for truth and accountability are echoed in other countries.”
Mae Paner, also known as Juana Change, joined the dance mob wearing a police uniform. “One of the important figures in the Mamasapano tragedy is Director General Alan Purisima who is an accomplice of President Aquino in hiding the truth,” she said, explaining her attire.
“We are calling for the whole truth because truth has many sides. And with truth comes accountability and justice,” said Paner who used to be a supporter of Aquino.