MANILA — Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas on Thursday called out President Rodrigo Duterte over his message to champion women empowerment, saying he was just posturing.
"President Duterte, napakaplastik mo. Paano mo nasisikmurang bigkasin ang mga salitang women empowerment gayong pinapa-disqualify mo nga ang Gabriela Women's Party, ang nag-iisang party list representative ng kababaihan sa buong mundo?" Brosas said during the Makabayan bloc's weekly press briefing.
(You're a hypocrite. How could you stomach saying the words women empowerment when you want us, the sole women's party-list representative in the world, to be disqualified? from Congress?)
Brosas was referring to the government's anti-communist task force's pending bid to cancel Gabriela's party-list registration over their alleged links to the armed movement.
"Pumupustura kang pro-women habang may nakabinbin kaming kaso sa Comelec na finile ng NTF-ELCAC under trumped-up allegations," she added.
(This is merely pro-women posturing, given there are cases against us filed at the Comelec by the NTF ELCAC on trumped-up allegations.)
Marking Women's Month, Duterte, who has several times drawn criticism for comments on women and rape jokes, has urged the public to join initiatives that "promote women empowerment."
Duterte in several instances has spawned allegations of sexism over his comments on women.
In November 2020, Duterte and other government officials joked about sex and womanizing during a post-typhoon briefing in calamity-hit Camarines Sur. This prompted a reminder from the Commission on Human Rights that the objectification of women is a form of violence.
In January, Duterte said women were not fit to be president.
Brosas said her organization would not be fooled by the chief executive's latest "women empowerment" message.
"Napakaraming women human rights advocates ang ni-red-tag, ginipit, at pinatay sa ilalim ng Duterte administration kaya hindi namin maatim ang isang minuto niyang talumpati para sa buwan ng kababaihan na puro kasinungalingan at pambobola. President Duterte, wala kang maloloko dito," Brosas said.
(A lot of women human-rights advocates are being red-tagged, harassed, and killed under the Duterte administration. So it's hard to swallow the President's speech in this women's month, a speech made up of lies. President Duterte, you are not fooling anybody.)