News Release

PBBM: Help the ‘Malaya Lolas’

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ordered concerned government agencies to extend aid and assistance to the case of the “Malaya Lolas,” a group of victims of sexual slavery by the Japanese imperial army during World War II.

Marcos issued the order following the report of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), saying the Philippines had failed to assist the Malaya Lolas, a group of former “comfort women,” in filing claims against Japan.

“Government agencies concerned are formulating a comprehensive response to the CEDAW committee and will submit this within the required period. We commit to undertaking measures and finding ways to help them live better lives as an expression of our continued deep solidarity with them and of our utmost respect,” President Marcos said on Saturday.

Marcos said the administration acknowledges the “grave atrocities endured by the brave Filipino women during wars of the 20th century.”

The government, Marcos added, “sincerely commiserate with them as they bear the long-term and irreversible physical and psychological effects of the war.”

“We honor their indomitable spirit and dignity in taking this important cause forward through these years,” the President pointed out.

“I wish to underscore that the Administration upholds the primacy of human rights and values the well-being of all Filipino women and girls. We strongly uphold women’s rights and push for gender equality as inscribed in our national laws, our treaty obligations especially under the CEDAW, and other international human rights instruments,” Marcos said. (PND)