MANILA— Amid the controversial red-tagging of actress Liza Soberano after her guesting in a women’s rights online talk, Gabriela Women’s Party on Saturday expressed solidarity with the actress and lauded her courage against gender-based violence.
“Nakakalungkot, hindi namin in-expect ang ganitong paninira kay Miss Soberano," Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas told ABS-CBN News Saturday.
(It's sad, we did not expect this kind of bashing against Miss Soberano.)
She reiterated that the malicious accusations against the actress reflects widespread violence, discrimination and inequality against women in the Philippines, which sadly is now being replicated online.
“Her courage to speak out against gender-based violence amid the intensifying culture of impunity should be admired rather than silenced and criticized,” she said.
Brosas also paid tribute to Soberano’s commitment to women’s rights.
"Hindi terorismo ang paglaban sa abuso (Fighting abuse is not terrorism). Be a Liza Soberano in this country being led by macho-fascist officials. We call on more public personalities to use their platforms to promote human rights, something that is badly needed today amidst the many forms of violence being promoted by the highest officials of the land.”
The online firestorm on Soberano came after she joined Gabriela Youth as one of the special guests discussing issues that girls and young women are facing in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 22-year-old actress appeared on a Tuesday webinar with the youth arm of Gabriela Women’s Party as a guest speaker in “Mga Tinig ni Nene: Reclaiming Our Voice on the International Day of the Girl Child.”
The actress previously filed a cyberlibel complaint against a telecom staff who made a rape remark about her after she called out an internet service provider (ISP) for inadequate service. Soberano said she wanted to make a stand not only for herself but also all the silent victims of rape, of rape jokes and of misogyny.
Brosas said she is also looking forward to the participation of Soberano and other concerned women and citizens in the online celebration of the 20th anniversary of Gabriela Women’s Party on October 25 with the theme "Tuloy-Tuloy na Pagtindig Kasama ang Babae, Bata at Bayan."
“We need to stand together and create a society where women will never have to be afraid to stand up against all forms of violence,” she said.
Meantime, House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate also expressed his and Bayan Muna's support for Soberano in their statement released to ABS-CBN News Saturday.
"We admire Liza's courage and for speaking up against the abuses faced by women and children. We hope that she would continue this advocacy and see the broader picture of what problems and faces of oppression are faced by many," said the Deputy Minority leader.
"As for those attacking and red tagging Liza, it is not wrong to speak up for the marginalized and exploitated, “ Zarate added. “What is wrong though is keeping silent against it or ignore others who are committing them. We should never be indifferent to injustice.”