|GABRIELA National Alliance of Women in the Philippines conferred to former Philippine Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian the “Woman of Courage” citation this afternoon. The citation was presented by GABRIELA Secretary General Emmi de Jesus and Honorable Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Women’s Party List. Also present was Ms. Pong Querubin, wife of detained Philippine Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin.
The following is GABRIELA’s media statement.
September 2, 2009
It is not easy to be a woman inside a male-dominated military institution that reeks of macho culture. Yet, former Philippine Navy Lieutenant Nancy Gadian excelled in her field and received various awards and medals including the AFP Cadette of the Year 1989, Philippine Navy Midshipwoman of the Year 1989, 11 Military Merit Medals on various occasions and Military Commendation Medals and Basic Awards.
It was even more difficult for Gadian to go against the military institution by revealing the corruption and other ill practices within it. She was fully aware of the risks involved in her exposé. Like others who chose to tell the truth on the rottenness of the Philippine government and its institutions, Gadian had to face the difficulty of losing her job, and be away from her home and her family. She knew that her character and her credibility would be under attack. She knew she was risking her life.
Yet, despite these sacrifices, Gadian chose to side with the people. She made a mark in history as the first Filipino officer to go against the interest of United States military in the Philippines by exposing atrocities in the US-RP joint military exercises, including the exploitation of women for the rest and recreation needs of US soldier. With this, Gadian affirmed that the VFA undermines the sovereignty of our country and violates the dignity of Filipino women.
GABRIELA National Alliance of Women find exemplary the courage displayed by former Philippine Navy Senior Grade Lieutenant Nancy Gadian in exposing the truth behind the Balikatan and other US-RP joint military exercises under the Visiting Forces Agreement.
Thus, in the tradition of recognizing the courage of individual women, GABRIELA confers the “Woman of Courage” citation to former Navy Lt. Nancy Gadian.
This tradition started in 2000 when GABRIELA gave the same recognition to Clarissa Ocampo, Emma Lim and Menchu Itchon whose testimonies gave credence to the charges of corruption against then President Joseph Estrada.
Public Information Department