The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women condemned the arbitrary arrest of women’s and child rights advocate Ma. Salome “Sally” Ujano just a few days before the International Day to End Violence Against Women (IDEVAW). Ujano was arrested yesterday, November 14, at her home in Malolos, Bulacan. Sally was arrested by persons in civilian clothes who, when asked for IDs, could not present anything except for a warrant of arrest for a rebellion charge filed on November 20, 2005, more than 15 years ago. It was the first time Sally and her family had heard of the charge.

In 2005, Sally was busy serving at the Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) where she was Executive Director until 2006 and later, Mobilization Officer until 2007. She is currently the National Coordinator of Philippines Against Child Trafficking (PACT), which she joined in 2008. Sally is known among women’s organizations and NGOs for her tireless advocacy to protect children and women from human trafficking and domestic violence in the last three decades.

“The arbitrary arrest of Sally Ujano exposesthe Duterte regime’s macho-fascist and misogynist character and its desperation to justify the billion-peso budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC by labeling any citizen or rights advocate as a rebel or insurgent,” decried Amihan National Chairperson Zenaida Soriano.

“Sally’s arrest is an ugly manifestation of the Terror Law and the dangers it poses on our basic human rights. It mirrors the unrestrained arrest of peasant women organizers in the countryside for fabricated charges that are often non-bailable and ensure that the women are silenced and immobilized to speak out and organize against land confiscation and conversion, militarization and displacement of their communities, and the plunder of our natural resources.”

“Peasant women stand in solidarity with the women’s sector in calling for the immediate release of Sally Ujano as well as the continuous condemnation of and resistance against the Duterte government’s red-tagging, illegal arrest, and extra-judicial killing of women activists and rights advocates. We call on the state to do its job of protecting women and children and upholding the human rights of Filipinos, rather than be the merciless perpetrator of vicious assaults and oppression. State violence and tyranny must end now!” Soriano said. 

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