“I know there are still so many political prisoners languishing in jail especially women political detainees. I hope they too would soon be freed. There is no sense and no humanity in keeping them to rot in jail when their productive and reproductive capacities could be tapped and maximized and be of great service to our people as molders of our youth and society.”

“Garden Behind Bars”
by Angie Ipong, former political prisoner

Women, Sow the Seeds of Resistance!: International Women’s Day and Human Rights Updates in the Philippines

Speakers include Filipina survivors of human rights violations Dr. Merry Mia- Clamor, Angelina Bisuna Vda. de Ipong and Melissa Roxas


Thursday, March 8, 2012, 11 :30 AM – 1 PM
Commemorating International Women’s Day
Claremont School of Theology
Haddon Conference Center in the Butler building
1325 North College Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711


Thursday, March 8, 2012, 6:30 PM – 9 PM
Celebrating International Women’s Day
Rosewood United Methodist Church
4101 Rosewood Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004


Friday, March 9, 2012, 6:30 PM – 9 PM
Community Reception
2404 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1 B
Los Angeles, CA 90057


Sponsors (partial list)

GABRIELA USA, SiGAw, Claremont School of Theology, Rosewood UMC, BAYAN, NAFCON, Habi Arts, AnakBayan LA, Filipino Migrant Center, Jersey Mike’s Subs – Orange and Laguna Woods (owned and operated by Ed Castaneda and Naida Castro), Filipino Ministry of the Diocese of San Bernardino. Karapatan, National Council of Churches in the Philippines.


This March 2012, the United Methodist Church, the Philippine Working Group of the Asia Pacific Forum, BAYAN-USA, Karapatan and the National Council Churches in the Philippines are coordinating a national tour. Dr. Merry Mia Clamor and Ms. Angie Ipong will be traveling from the Philippines to speak across the United States to raise awareness and seek justice for flagrant human rights violations in the Philippines.

In Southern California, Dr. Clamor and Ms. Ipong will join with Melissa Roxas to launch the national tour. Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, Angelina “Angie” Ipong and Melissa Roxas are all Filipina survivors of human rights violations targeted because of their work advocating with the poor and the marginalized. On March 8th, these three courageous women will share their ongoing struggles for justice and human rights in the Philippines. Ms. Roxas, Dr. Clamor and Ms. Ipong need our support as they continue to appeal for justice at the US Congress and the United Nations.

March 8th marks the anniversary day of when Ms. Ipong was abducted and tortured 7 years ago, because of her work with the most oppressed. As the Philippines oldest female political prisoner, Ms. Ipong was finally released in 2011. For Southern California peace advocates supporting human rights in the Philippines, the opportunity to host Dr. Clamor is an honor because the Southern California community was actively engaged in the campaign to free Dr. Clamor and 42 other health workers from illegal detention in 2010.

After their speaking engagements in Los Angeles, Dr. Clamor and Ms. Ipong will tell their stories to many more audiences, including the United Nations Human Rights Council in New York and the US Congress during the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days. We hope these opportunities to speak to the US Congress and UN will make an impact but we know that these survivors need more support from people living in the United States.  We hope that you will help welcome these women during their time in Southern California so that we can ensure the local advocacy for human rights in the Philippines will continue after International Women’s Day.

Short Biographies

Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor is the Director of the Health Education, Training and Services Department of Council for Health and Development. As the national secretariat of the Community-Based Health Programs in the Philippines, it is one of the tasks of the Council for Health and Development to conduct free community clinics all over the country in partnership with its member programs.

On February 6, 2010, Dr. Clamor and 42 other health workers were illegally arrested, detained and tortured and held political prisoners for over ten months. The Free the 43 Healthworkers campaign became an international campaign that drew support from all around the world. Today, the 43 are still demanding justice for the injustices they suffered and for those political prisoners who are still languishing in prison across the country.

More information: http://freethehealthworkers.blogspot.com

Angelina Bisuna Vda. de Ipong, or Angie to her friends, is a long time human rights and peace advocate who has devoted her life to the cause of peace with justice. She has dedicated more than three decades of her life to the struggles for the rights of peasants and indigenous people. On March 8, 2005, Angie was illegally arrested, detained and tortured while doing human rights work in Misamis Oriental. After six years as a political prisoner at the age of 66, Angie was finally released after a long campaign to demand her freedom. Angie has penned her experience in prison with her book, “Garden Behind Bars.”

Angie graduated from Ateneo de Naga University in Naga City with a Bachelor of Arts, Major in History. Afterwards, she taught at Maryknoll College in Lucena City. In 1965, Angie became a member of the Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP) in Dumaguete City where the MSP was based under the auspices of the late Bishop Surban. She was one of the pioneers of the women’s lay missionary division under the MSP Secular Institute from 1966 to 1976. In 1968-1970, Angie was sent to study theology in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. While abroad, she passed through Europe and parts of Asia and she was exposed to different mission groups, lay institutes and the like. After two years, she was back in the Philippines and went straight to Cebu where the new base of the MSP was located and taught for a year at San Carlos University and St. Theresa’s College.

More information: http://hustisya.org

Melissa Roxas is a poet, community health worker, and human rights activist.  While conducting community health work on May 19, 2009 in the province of Tarlac, Philippines, she was abducted and enforcedly disappeared by agents of the Philippine military and was held in secret detention and tortured for six days.  She continues to write and speak out for truth and justice.

More information: http://justiceformelissa.org