Do not be afraid.
Senator Risa Hontiveros came to the defense of two celebrities following the alleged veiled warning from a military official.
Hontiveros urged Liza Soberano and Catriona Gray to continue to advance women’s rights, saying she will continue to support them.
“To Liza and Catriona: It is difficult and painful to be at the frontlines fighting beside persons oppressed by a norm that advocates rape, murder and exploitation. But every time you speak up, another girl becomes braver and another life is saved,” she said in a Facebook post. “I’m behind you every step of the way,” she said.
Hontiveros also said she salutes Soberano and Gray for their courage and urged them to continue to use their constitutional right to free speech.
“This is your constitutional right; don’t be afraid,” she said. “Patuloy niyo lang panindigan ang karapatan niyong magsalita. Kasama niyo ako at karamihan sa ating mamamayan. I salute and embrace you,” she added.
In the same online post, Hontiveros slammed Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. for his alleged threats against the two women. She told the military official not to use his authority to frighten or threaten women.
“Your threats and harassment are unacceptable. By silencing them, pinapalampas mo ang karahasan, panggagahasa at pangaabuso na nararansan ng napakaraming Pilipino. This is ungentlemanly and a shame to your rank and to the PMA (Philippine Military Academy),” she said.
The military official earlier reportedly cautioned the two celebrities against getting involved with a militant women’s group.