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by Faith Santilla
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007 at 3:07 PM
Dr. Annalisa Enrile and two other GABNet leaders en route to US after harassment from immigration officials at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila
gn3_13.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480
For Immediate Release
August 14, 2007
Contacts: Faith Santilla, firstname.lastname@example.org; Milady Quito, email@example.com
GABNET 3 ATTEMPTS TO BOARD PLANES A SUCCESS, DESPITE HARASSMENT FROM IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS
USC Professor and GABRIELA Network National Chairperson Dr. Annalisa Enrile, plus two other colleagues were able to leave the Philippines early this morning after defiantly attempting to board planes after an embattled ten-day fight with several Philippine governmental agencies. The three human rights activists were informed last week that their names were on a “watchlist” put out by the Philippine Government when Dr. Enrile attempted to board a flight to Los Angeles from Manila on August 5th, 2007. The U.S.-born Enrile was returning home from leading a Philippine immersion program for masters students of the USC School of Social Work, which included the group’s attendance at the 10th annual Women’s International Solidarity Affair in the Philippines.
Protesters in several major U.S. cities spent the late afternoon and evening yesterday in front of Philippine Consulates and at busy intersections, awaiting news regarding the GABNet 3. When informed by supporters of the womens’ intentions to board a flight out of Manila that evening, the reactions from Consul Generals in different cities varied. Consul General Cecilia Rebong from New York claimed she was unaware of the situation when approached by GABRIELA Network members, despite being interviewed by local radio station WBAI thirty minutes before. After much pressure from a raucous crowd and a delegation that consisted of local chapter GABNet Chair Ivy Quicho, members of the media, as well as the parents and husband of Dr. Enrile, Los Angeles Consul General Mary Jo Aragon maintained contact with Ms. Quicho throughout the night to advise her of her efforts to ensure the GABNet 3’s safe return to the U.S.
Enrile is currently en route to Los Angeles International Airport, while GABNet leaders Judith Mirkinson and Ninotchka Rosca are scheduled to arrive in San Francisco this evening. U.S.-based lawyers who worked with the three women on a human rights fact finding mission in the Philippines last year will be awaiting their arrival at LAX and SFO airports.
The targeting and harassment of the GABNet 3 coincides with the Human Security Act, also known as the Anti-Terror Law that went into effect in the Philippines on August 11, 2007. The much criticized Act formulated by the Macapagal-Arroyo regime allows, among other things, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, warrantless arrests, and so-called preventive detention.”
GABNet is a Philippine-U.S. solidarity mass organization that was established in 1989. ####
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