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Bar Girls Demonstrate for Marcos, Marcos Criticized for Sexist Statements

January 22, 1986

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Escorted by motorcycle policemen and drummers, hundreds of bar girls and prostitutes marched through Manila’s red-light district today, chanting slogans supporting President Ferdinand E. Marcos in next month’s special presidential election.

Some onlookers jeered the marchers, shouting ″sipsip″ (bootlickers) or flashing the opposition ″L″ sign for ″laban″ (fight).

Several bar operators and employees said couriers sent by Mayor Ramon Bagatsing went to dozens of bars in Manila’s Ermita tourist quarter Tuesday night with veiled threats that their licenses would not be renewed if they did not participate in the march.

The hour-long march wound up at the auditorium of the Philippine National Red Cross where Bagatsing addressed the bar girls and some male bar employees, asking them to vote for Marcos in the Feb. 7 election.

Marcos is being challenged by Corazon Aquino, widow of assassinated opposition leader Benigno Aquino.

In Butuan, Mrs. Aquino appealed to the Philippine armed forces today to keep the election clean and honest, amid opposition charges that Marcos would rig the vote.

Winding up an eight-day campaign on the troubled Mindanao island, 500 miles south of Manila, Mrs. Aquino told a rally of 20,000 people that her appeal also was aimed at 80,000 public school teachers who will supervise the voting.

Earlier today, 10 people were injured in Cebu when soldiers scuffled with about 1,000 people urging an election boycott, witnesses said.

A smaller demonstration in Manila protested ″unfair″ media coverage of Mrs. Aquino.

Also in Manila, newspaper columnists and an editorial criticized Marcos for remarks about running against a female candidate. Marcos was quoted as saying the model Philippine woman ″teaches her husband only in the bedroom.″

Col. Cesar Veloso of the Philippine Constabulary said four soldiers were injured by stones while trying to break up demonstrators from the leftist group Bayan (Country) Tuesday night.

Lawyer Vicente Balbuena of Bayan said six demonstrators were beaten up by soldiers.

Protestors had urged people not to vote in the election. ″Hunger and militarization cannot be solved by sham elections,″ said a placard in the Cebuano language.

The Philippines Inquirer reported Marcos on Monday as criticizing Mrs. Aquino for ″having the nerve to aspire for the presidency when she knows little about running the country.″

In the statement, which was not carried by other media, Marcos reportedly said in Tagalog that the ideal Philippine woman is ″modest, does not challenge men, is intelligent but she keeps it to herself and teaches her husband only in the bedroom.″

An Inquirer editorial today said Marcos’ remarks reflect much of the male chauvinism that frowns on her candidacy.

The editorial suggests Marcos’ ruling party might adopt the battle cry: ″Keep them in the bedroom where they belong.″

Columnist Ninez Cacho-Olivarez, in the independent Business Day, suggested Marcos should direct his remarks to his wife, Imelda, who is a member of his cabinet and holds other posts.

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