On November 23, 1944, during the Second World War, Bubya is known to have been sexually assaulted by Japanese soldiers who attacked her hometown of Mapanic, a village north of Manila, Philippines. It was when she was 13.
In 1997, Grandma Binya organized a non-governmental organization (NGO) called ‘Malaya Rollas’ to gather women victims of sexual assault by the Japanese military. In the decades that followed, they struggled for Japanese apologies and reparations.
An organization called Malaya Rollas has been playing a role in bringing to the surface the testimony of Filipino women who were victims of Japanese military comfort women. The group gathered their statements and revealed that “Filipino comfort women victims were beaten, raped and abused in Japanese military barracks,” and that “one woman had to deal with 30 soldiers a day.” In recognition of these achievements, the group was shortlisted for the Edward R Murrow Award, awarded by the American Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).
Bubya was active until just before Corona 19, emphasizing that “the Japanese government should acknowledge the atrocities they committed and take responsibility.” However, in the end, there was no official apology from Japan.
The lawsuit filed by Malaya Rollas in a Japanese court was dismissed. He also filed a lawsuit with the Philippine government, saying, “I want you to go directly to the claim for compensation,” but it was defeated. Malaya Rollas filed a complaint with the UN Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), saying that the Philippine government’s attitude violated the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and is awaiting a decision.
“Too many comfort women victims have died this year,” said Malaya Rollas, announcing her death on Facebook.
The number of victims of Japanese military comfort women in the Philippines is estimated at about 1,000. Most of them are old, so it is said that only a dozen of them are still alive.