Press Release
December 9, 2009

Pia condemns sexual violence committed vs. women massacre victims

Senator Pia S. Cayetano said the Arroyo government should not allow the sexual atrocities committed against the 26 women victims of the Maguindanao massacre to go unpunished.

The lady senator made the appeal on the eve of International Human Rights Day tomorrow, December 10.

Cayetano is currently in Paris, France to speak at an international conference on migration and violence against women organized jointly by the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Parliamentarians Assembly of the Council of Europe. She is attending in her official capacity as president of the IPU's committee of women parliamentarians.

"The sexual atrocities committed against the 26 women victims in the Maguindanao massacre could have only been done by beasts," she stressed, reacting to reports detailing the police's official account of the massacre confirming how the women victims' private parts were mutilated with knives and shot.

"These acts of violence must be condemned in the highest order by all sectors. I also call on the women members of the Ampatuan clan themselves to speak out. No self-respecting woman would condone such beastly crimes committed against their fellow women."

"I hope these atrocities will not be forgotten even as the government's attention shifts to quelling a supposed rebellion and justifying its declaration of martial law in Maguindanao," she added.

"Even as we mark International Human Rights tomorrow, the outlook is very grim in the Philippines, especially with respect to protecting the rights of women, the people's political and democratic rights, and the exercise of press freedom."

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