During the height of the campaign for Joseph Estrada’s ouster in 2000, then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was invited to speak before a big mobilization of women at the Ayala Avenue. “I was a founding member of Gabriela,” she proudly proclaimed. Gabriela leaders indeed noted that a lot of women from across various sectors were in one way or the other involved in the organization’s founding in 1985.
Last March 8, twenty-four years since its founding — and more than 900 politically-motivated murders and almost 200 enforced disappearances later — Pres. Arroyo faced the wrath of thousands of protesting women under BabaLa! (Babae Laban sa Katiwalian), a broad formation of women calling for Arroyo’s ouster. BabaLa! is led by Gabriela, no less than the organization she was purportedly involved with in the fight against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Here are the photos of BabaLa! and Gabriela march from Welcome Rotonda to Plaza Miranda, and from Plaza Miranda to Mendiola Bridge. Organizers estimate the ralliers to number at around 10,000.