Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the removal of the “comfort women” statue along Roxas Boulevard

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the removal of the “comfort women” statue along Roxas Boulevard

Statues are built to remember and respect struggles in our history. In this light, the Commission is deeply concerned that the monument intended to honour the pain and struggles of our so-called ‘comfort women’ during the World War II was taken down like a thief in the night, akin to equally robbing us of our sense of history and national identity.

The relocation of the statue to a private area also insults the memory of our Filipinas who, after years of being silent, mustered the courage to step out of the dark to tell their stories, claim back their dignity, and call for reparations for the wrongs done to their humanity.

Although it presents a grim side of our past, the monument also urges us to never again allow the dignity of Filipino women be trampled and compromised—in any way, form, or expression.

It was said, those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. Hence, any form to alter, embellish, or silence our history is an affront to our national identity and should be condemned.

It has taken decades for these ‘comfort women’ to come forward. Only a few of them remain alive today. In honour of their human dignity, we must resist efforts to remove them, not only from public consciousness, but also from our national history. ■

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