Comfort women statue petition gains momentum

Our online petition for people to sign our manifesto elicited 1,000 plus signatures. Here is a selection of their reactions from all over the world:
This is another injustice to the Filipino “comfort women”. only a handful are still alive, but they have not yet gotten their demands for official apology from Japan, recognition in history and compensation. – Gert Libang, Quezon City
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It is a moral outrage when one country tries to suppress the history of another. But it is a bigger offense when one’s own government colludes in this crime and commits a breach of trust against its own people. The recent stealth removal of the Comfort Women Statue in Manila is a massive indignation to the Filipino people and to all those who believe in the sanctity of freedom. The history of WWII in the Philippines includes crimes against humanity. Approximately one million civilians perished during the war.
It is imperative that students should learn the unvarnished lessons of war to prevent such crimes from happening again. The WWII in the Philippines is now part of the Grade 11 US history curriculum framework in California and yet, in the Philippines, these lessons are not being taught. The Philippine government should uphold the values and dignity of its own people and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The legacy of its people should never be suppressed nor sold to the highest bidder. – Cecilia I. Gaerlan, executive director, Bataan Legacy Historical Society
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Without relocation it seems like a craven capitulation to the complaint of the Japanese Embassy. Manila, which was the second most devastated city in World War II, has few memorials for that period, the only other being the Memorare Manila 1945 in Intramuros. Removing the statue reduces Manila’s already few World War II memorials. I call n Prof. Rene Escalante and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to initiate the relocation of the statue to a prominent place. – Dr. Benito Legarda Jr., historian
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I want to remember what the war can do to women and children. The statue need to be up again so those who went through so much during the war can be remembered. – Sunny Hwang, Issaquah, WA
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We cannot allow our pathetic government officials to be dictated by a foreign power. Japan has never undertaken any serious action to correct the injustices they have committed. – Ricardo Roy Lopez, Davao
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People need to be reminded of history and these women should be honored with our memory. – Rhiana Marie Toledo, Makati
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The statue should be reinstalled so the memories of what Japan did be passed on to our next generations to prevent such horrors again in the future. – John Lee, Mukilteo, WA
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A memorial seeks to give light of what is good in spite of a past horror in history. We are friends of Japan but we should remember the women of our past because willing or not they gave their lives for our country. – Maharlika Mirasol, Manila
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Comfort women should be honored and compensated. – Malu A. Lopez, Davao
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Bring back the monument of our Japanese sex slaves in memory of those Filipinas who suffered and died . Why should the Japanese dictate to us what to do in our country. – Oskar Atendido, Pasig
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I do not see the point of removing that memorial just to please the offender. – Betsy Gazo, Bacolod City
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Say no to collective amnesia. – Ariel Reginald Rivera, Pasig
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As much as I love Japan as it is now, it doesn’t mean what the comfort women had gone through did not happen. Others that had history of wrongs have allowed monuments to be built to acknowledge the wrongs done, to apologize, to honor the victims and remind the wrongness done to them must not be repeated. So why can’t Japan acknowledge this? Lives of victims, whatever the atrocity done to them, matter. – Ian Torres, Manila
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I don’t believe history of people should ever to erased. We learn from history and honor the people who made it possible to be who we are today whether friend or foe. – Mchelle Wiklund, Kingston, United States
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To remove the statue to the over one thousand Filipina women who were sexually enslaved during WWII is to deny history and deny justice – not just to them but to all women! – Judith Mirkinson, San Francisco, CA
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Japan has no right to say or influence a sovereign country as to what should be built or not but on its land. – Misuk Nam, Hercules, CA
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The Memorial in Manila was uplifting and a breath of fresh air to stale denial of the Japanese Government under Prime Minister Abe. I will not let this be a defeat for the Lolas that have suffered so long and awaiting justice, but instead a shout to the world that unresolved justice is justice denied. – Russell Lowe, San Francisco, CA
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Proper acknowledgement of history is to improve people’s lives. – Sining Kotah, Manila
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My lola was one of the comfort women. Except remembering how much she hated the Japanese, none of us knew the story, until my sister asked her about her experience in WWII. The first time she told us, her face was in tears that came from a source as deep as the ocean, her body was shaking from the anger and shame. I will not forget that moment. R.I.P. Lola! – Josephine Cruz, Pasig
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Why has this government rescinded the recognition of the sacrifices of our comfort women? The Japanese Government itself has recognize this fact as part of their history, so why does the Philippines Government choose to brush this part of our history aside? (parang mali yong part about Jap government recognizing this as part of their history) – Jennifer Evidente, Laufach, Germany
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As a Japanese citizen, I stand with women and people all over the world who seek justice and demand dignity and human rights. Campaigns by the current Japanese (Abe) administration to erase and rewrite the past are shameful and unforgivable. I demand the restoration of the statue so we will always remember the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army and renew our oath to make sure that the same mistakes will not be repeated anywhere ever again. – Tsukuru Fors, Los Angeles, CA

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