By Maila Ager
Last updated 06:35pm (Mla time) 08/13/2007
MANILA, Philippines -- A resolution urging the Japanese government to formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept its responsibility for sexual slavery in World War II and compensate the victims was filed at the House of Representatives on Monday.
Representatives Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan of the Gabriela Women’s party-list, Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casiño of Bayan Muna (People First), Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses), Eduardo Zialcita of Parañaque, and Neil Tupas of Iloilo filed Resolution 124 following the US House of Representatives’ adoption of a similar measure.
Last July 31, the US House approved Resolution 121 expressing its sense that the government of Japan “should formally acknowledge, apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces’ coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as comfort women,” during World War II.
“Following the step of the US House of Representatives in passing Resolution 121, the Philippine government is demonstrating its earnest interest to help the Filipino comfort women achieve the justice they deserve and reclaim their dignity and that one of the Filipino people,” Resolution 124 said.
It has been more than a decade now, it noted, since the victims started clamoring for an official apology and legal redress from the Japanese government for the “unimaginable suffering they experienced in the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army.”
And while the Japanese government recognizes the issues concerning comfort women, the resolution lamented that it continued to assert that it had no obligation to compensate the victims since the matter had already been settled by the signing of the San Francisco Treaty and other bilateral treaties.