Remember the comfort women of WWII, NYC urges youth
As the nation remembers the Filipino heroes of World War II for the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), the National Youth Commission (NYC) told the youth to remember the comfort women who were tortured and made into sex slaves by the Japanese military during WWII.
“Mahalaga na ating malaman ang kanilang mga kuwento, kung paano sila inabuso, sinaktan, ginahasa at pinilahan ng mga sundalong Hapon sa mga ‘comfort stations,’” said NYC chairman Leon Flores III said in a statement Monday.
Two years ago, the comfort women who survived their ordeal, petitioned government to take on their cause and push for reparations and official public apology from Japan. Collectively known as the Malaya Lolas, their petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
The Malaya Lolas have filed for a motion for reconsideration after Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo was accused of plagiarizing the court’s decision.
“Hanggang ngayon, wala pa silang nakakamit na hustisya at marami sa kanila ang namatay na,” Flores said, stressing the importance of the youth’s support for “our lolas.”
“We hope the young will realize that it is both a women’s issue and importantly, an issue of the country’s sovereignty,” the NYC official said.
During the Japanese occupation, hundreds of Filipino women were made to serve in “comfort stations” where they were forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers. Many survivors recalled experiencing brutality and violence in the hands of the troops.
In 1992, Maria Rosa Henson became the first Filipina to come out in public, nspiring other survivors to reveal themselves. Since then, they have organized themselves into several groups, such as the Malaya Lola’s and Lila Filipina, and continue to lobby for justice. —Amanda Lago
GMA News 2012.4.9