APOLOGY FOR SEX SLAVES
Gabriela solon laments return of ‘Reso’ 124
MANILA, Philippines -- Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the decision of the House committee on foreign affairs’ to return to the committee the resolution demanding apology from Japan for the atrocities against Filipino comfort women in World War II.
Maza was reacting to the announcement this week by Cebu City Rep. Antonio Cuenco that House Resolution 124 will again have to be voted on after a Japanese diplomat raised concern over the lack of quorum that attended the adoption of the resolution on March 11.
Cuenco said the Japanese had no business questioning what the committee did but added the adoption of the resolution should be beyond reproach. The resolution is expected to be passed by the House plenary itself as it enjoys bipartisan support.
“The lolas (grandmothers) -- Filipina victims of wartime sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army -- have long been waiting for significant initiatives from the Philippine government to help them in pursuing justice,” Maza said.
“Why such dilly-dallying on this measure when the victims are already in their 70s and 80s? We all know that Congress can and will speed up measures if the leadership deems it so,” she added
Maza said House Resolution 124 is a Gabriela initiative that calls on the Japanese government to formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility over the sexual slavery of women during World War II.
She said that an approval of the resolution would bring the Philippines at par with the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia, all of which passed similar resolutions last year.
The Gabriela solon also pointed out that House Resolution 160, supporting moves for compensation for comfort women which she filed during the 13th Congress, was likewise approved at the Committee on Foreign Affairs but wasn’t taken up at the plenary.
“I am hopeful for House Resolution 124 to be tackled immediately once Congress resumes session on April 21. Justice for our comfort women has long been delayed and long denied,” Maza said.
“It would be such a shame for our government not to take the cudgels for the victims in our own country,” she added.