Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines

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STOP EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS. TAKE FORWARD THE PEACE PROCESS.

urbanpoor-rally-against-drug-related-killings-bykadamay

(Photo credit: Kadamay)

16 September 2016

CHRP Press Statement

Reference/s:   Jamima Fagta, Secretary, +447958 398370, secretary@chrp.org.uk
Stuart Howard, Committee member, info@chrp.org.uk

STOP EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS. TAKE FORWARD THE PEACE PROCESS.

Edgar Matobato, who claims to be a former member of a death squad run by the current Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte when he was Mayor of Davao City, has alleged to a Philippines Senate hearing, that as well as running a death squad that targeted drug dealers, political opponents and personal enemies, Duterte personally murdered a wounded government criminal investigator.  Duterte denies the allegations.

Duterte was elected to the Philippine presidency last May by a landslide propelled largely by his promise to eradicate corruption and of a war on drugs through a deadly crackdown of drug users and gang members. Currently, 3,500 people are estimated to have been killed in the four months since he took power.  These deaths are taking place in poor communities, where drugs crime is generated out of the grinding poverty and stark social inequalities which successive governments have shown little concern to resolve.

Extrajudicial killings of street children and drug gang members are not new in the Philippines and are often perpetrated by elements in the police who are themselves involved in running their own drugs gangs. Such killings have always been seen by those in power as a solution which is preferable to following the path of due legal process, or introducing reforms which address the root issues of inequality and poverty

Duterte’s populist style and the sheer scale of deaths currently taking place have finally drawn the world’s attention to extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. But the risk is that he is looked upon as exceptional, “a rogue populist president”.

The reality is that extrajudicial killings have been a core part of the strategy of the Philippines traditional elite for keeping themselves in power ever since the era of ex-President Marcos . For many years, through successive administrations, human rights organisations, in the Philippines and internationally, have tried to draw the world’s attention to extrajudicial killings and disappearances. Previous presidents may not, unlike Duterte, have openly endorsed extrajudicial killings, but they have had no qualms about the military and death squads being unleashed on community activists, journalists, church workers and trade unionists.

CHRP has pointed out recently how British-based mining companies have been implicated in the military and death squads removing community opposition to their mining operations. The murder of activists is continuing in the Duterte presidency. On 3 September, four farmers were killed by a death squad operating for a mayor who wanted to grab their land in Nueva Ecija. In July, a pregnant woman was killed, and four children and two farmers were wounded when a military battalion and a private army opened fire on Lumad indigenous people at a wedding celebration in Bukidnon.

The attention now being given to Duterte’s past is also happening at a time when there seems to be the first genuine possibility for progress in peace talks between the government and the left-wing National Democratic Front of the Philippines for many years, with the prospect of ending a more than five decades long guerrilla war. The first round of talks in Oslo in August had an encouraging start with an agreement on a number of preliminary points. Given the insistence of the rebels on fundamental socio-economic reforms, including genuine land reform and an end to the grip of a small group of wealthy families in power in the country, the resumption of the peace talks has given renewed hope to many people in the Philippines.

It is vital that these peace talks proceed. However, there can be no genuine peace with justice unless the whole culture of impunity for extrajudicial killings and other forms of human rights violations is eradicated. CHRP calls for the following:

  • All extrajudicial killings must be stopped immediately.
  • All paramilitary groups and private armies must be disarmed and disbanded.
  • All those responsible for extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture must be brought to justice.
  • Peace talks between the Philippines Government and the National Democratic Front must be supported in order to bring about just economic and social reforms and an end to impunity. ###

September 15, 2016   No Comments

Stories of Indigenous Struggles and Resistance

Dear activists, advocates and friends,

IPMSDL is pleased to announce the publication of the 2nd issue of i-Files: Stories of Indigenous Struggles and Resistance, with the theme Indigenous Peoples Struggles in the Philippines. It is available initially only in English, and we are currently working on getting the Spanish and French versions published soon. You may view the publication online at http://ipmsdl.org/i-files-2-indigenous-peoples-struggles-in-the-philippines/. We have also attached a pdf file for your perusal. 🙂

Thanks for all your support! Watch out for the third issue soon! 🙂

In solidarity,
Mark Ambay
IPMSDL Research

—–

Foreword to the Second Issue

The three articles in this publication are windows to the current situation of Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines: that of the horror of extrajudicial killings that accompany the militarisation of IP territories and its resources; that of the failure of Philippine government to protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples with an inutile law called the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act or IPRA; and, that of alternative learning centers or schools for indigenous children which are being attacked by government forces as part of the state’s military stance on indigenous peoples.  While this vociferous attack on IP is being perpetrated in what human rights organisations call the climate of impunity that prevails in the Philippines, consolidated indigenous peoples organisations (IPOs) with their NGO partners in civil society, persist to struggle for their right to organise, mobilise and advocate for the respect and defense of IP rights to land, life and identity.

In this fearful situation, the organised collective action of Indigenous Peoples is most necessary to protecting and defending their rights.

Furthermore, there is still much to be done in asserting IP rights to life, land and culture, given the intensely comprehensive investment climate that is being touted by the Philippine government to transnational extractive industries that exploit natural resources which are usually found in Indigenous Peoples’ ancestral lands. This investment climate was aggressively pushed in the 1970s during Marcos’s martial law, and has been the Philippine government’s policy ever since to accommodate all types of foreign investments whether detrimental or not to the environment. The effect of this government policy is their need to bring in the military to quell any opposition or discontent regarding these extractive industries. The militarisation of the countryside and of IP areas is government’s response to the Indigenous Peoples’ call for development justice and peaceful consensual conflict-resolutions.

The Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines are generally poor, and they are marginalised by both government and the lowland majority, and yet they live in well-preserved natural environments that are rich in natural resources.  While their indigenous practice is considered “sustainable development”, outsiders are forever treacherously encroaching into these territories craving to own or exploit these resources for their own greed. The defense of land, life and identity is related to the Indigenous Peoples’ sense of protecting the “world” they live in, which is often times called by non-IP people as “the environment”. The natural habitat of most IP in the Philippines is in the hinterlands where they still practice traditional and sustainable cultural beliefs that protect and preserve the health of the natural environment for many generations to come.

There is still much to be done. There is still need to do more in terms of monitoring and documentation, not just in defending and protecting the Indigenous Peoples civil, political and cultural rights, but also in promoting and protecting their right to development as a means to find peace between their communities and in the country as a whole.

Working for development justice is also being on the road to achieving peace, hence, the openness of the new government to seek peace with all contending forces must be given active help and encouragement. It is, therefore, imperative to support the peace talks between the new government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Phillippines (NDFP) and the the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

All Filipinos including the Indigenous Peoples should be able to build a collective voice in seeking and working for a just and lasting peace in the country.

Josephine Dongail
Member
Board of Directors
IPMSDL

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Attachment(s) from Andy Whitmore | View attachments on the web
1 of 1 File(s)
i-files 1-2.pdf

September 26, 2016   No Comments

Duterte turns ire on EU, calls them hypocrites and uses ‘F’ word

Duterte turns ire on EU, calls them hypocrites and uses ‘F’ word

By: Leila B. Salaverria

Philippine Daily Inquirer –
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/145146/duterte-turns-ire-on-eu-calls-them-hypocrites-and-uses-f-word

20 September 2016

MANILA — President Duterte let loose a fresh string of tirades against
the European Union, on Tuesday, after it called for a halt to
extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines.

“I read the condemnation of the EU against me. I will tell them, ‘fuck
you.’ You’re doing it in atonement for your sins,” Mr. Duterte said in a
speech before local government officials in Davao City.

Duterte said members of the European Union have become strict about the
behavior of other nations due to their “guilt feelings” over the
atrocities they had committed in the past.

He also called them hypocrites, as he added that a check of
encyclopedias would show what European countries have done, he said. For
instance, France and Great Britain had killed Arabs, he said.

“And then EU now has the gall to condemn me. I repeat it, ‘fuck you,’”
he said.

Mr. Duterte also asked who he was supposed to have killed in the
Philippines.

Assuming accusations against him were true, and there were over 1,000
killed in the country, he asked who were the people killed.

“Who are they? Criminals? You call it genocide? How many did they kill?”
he asked. SFM

September 26, 2016   No Comments

Rights violations vs environment defenders by AFP a sabotage of peace efforts

KALIKASAN PEOPLE’S NETWORK FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
26 Matulungin St. Central Dist., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel./Fax; +63 (2) 920-9099; E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net  Website: www.kalikasan.net

PRESS RELEASE
21 September 2016

Recent string of rights violations vs environment defenders by AFP a sabotage of peace efforts, green group says

Environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) expressed alarm over the breaking reports extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, and other human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by military agents in the regions of North Luzon and Southern Mindanao.

“We have just received reports of the illegal detention of John Claudio Maniquez, a young environmental defender who is part of our local affiliates in Compostela Valley, by elements of the 46th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army while two of his companions have apparently been forcibly disappeared. Three other peasant farmers opposing environmentally critical projects were killed in separate incidents in North Cotabato and Isabela. The military and private security of corporations seem to be sabotaging the ongoing peace efforts with this continuing militarization in areas where destructive projects are found, and environmental advocates are suffering for it,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

Maniquez, a 21 year-old peasant youth who is member of the local environment group Panalipdan Youth – Pantukan, and his two companions who were identified in the initial reports as ‘Bla’ and ‘Iking’ were just putting up posters announcing a local peace forum  last September 19 when they were tailed by military soldiers and later on illegally arrested.

A certain Sgt. Domingo R. Ygat of the 46th-IBPA reportedly filed a complaint against Maniquez for his alleged illegal possession of a magnum 357 revolver and being an alleged member of the New People’s Army.

“The ludicrous complaint that Maniquez was an armed NPA member has been a tried-and-tested technique of the police and military to harass activists and citizens. We see no other reason for the detaining of Maniquez except their continuing opposition to the entry of the large-scale mining project of the Villar-owned company Nadecor together with United States-based St. Augustine Copper & Gold Ltd.,” said Dulce.

Earlier, peasant groups reported the killing of Ariel Diaz, a peasant leader of DAGAMI-Delfin Abano who have led opposition to land grabs by German solar firm LP4P and various plantation and contract farm interests, last September 8 by suspected military or private goons.

Days after on September 16, two El Nino-affected farmers were fired upon by paramilitary group Bagani in Sitio Kiatao, Brgy. Lanao Kuran, Arakan. The still unnamed farmers, who were husband and wife, were confirmed to have died from the shooting.

“This recent spate of killings involving peasant farmers defending their lands and demanding justice from worsening climate impacts brings the number of cases of political or extrajudicial killings of environmental defenders that we have recorded since 2001 to 99. Of these almost a hundred incidents, five cases occurred already under the Duterte administration,” noted Dulce.

Kalikasan PNE said they will closely coordinate with their local affiliate organizations in working for the release of Maniquez and the confirmation of his companions’ whereabouts. They also reiterated their calls on the Duterte administration for the accountability and eventual dismantling of paramilitary groups, and the pull-out of military and paramilitary forces from areas threatened by extractive projects.

“A possibility we are considering is the filing of complaints before the joint monitoring committee of the GRP-NDFP peace talks. We want to discuss to the two negotiating parties these recent human rights violations and the worsening rights situation of environmental defenders in confronting the intertwined attacks of state militarization and natural resource plunder,” ended Dulce.#

National Secretariat
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 433 0184 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site: www.kalikasan.net

September 26, 2016   No Comments

Forthcoming JustPeacePH report welcomed

We look forward to your report, Dr. Henderickx!

– CHRP
hendericks

September 21, 2016   No Comments

STOP EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS. TAKE FORWARD THEPEACE PROCESS.

http://www.chrp.org.uk/2016/stop-the-killings-just-peace-ph/

16 September 2016

CHRP Press Statement

Reference/s: Jamima Fagta, Secretary, +447958 398370,secretary@chrp.org.uk
Stuart Howard, Committee member, info@chrp.org.uk

STOP EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS. TAKE FORWARD THEPEACE PROCESS.

Edgar Matobato, who claims to be a former member of a death squad run by the current Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte when he was Mayor of Davao City, has alleged to a Philippines Senate hearing, that as well as running a death squad that targeted drug dealers, political opponents and personal enemies, Duterte personally murdered a wounded government criminal investigator. Duterte denies the allegations.

Duterte was elected to the Philippine presidency last May by a landslide propelled largely by his promise to eradicate corruption and of a war on drugs through a deadly crackdown of drug users and gang members. Currently, 3,500 people are estimated to have been killed in the four months since he took power. These deaths are taking place in poor communities, where drugs crime is generated out of the grinding poverty and stark social inequalities which successive governments have shown little concern to resolve.

Extrajudicial killings of street children and drug gang members are not new in the Philippines and are often perpetrated by elements in the police who are themselves involved in running their own drugs gangs. Such killings have always been seen by those in power as a solution which is preferable to following the path of due legal process, or introducing reforms which address the root issues of inequality and poverty

Duterte’s populist style and the sheer scale of deaths currently taking place have finally drawn the world’s attention to extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. But the risk is that he is looked upon as exceptional, “a rogue populist president”.

The reality is that extrajudicial killings have been a core part of the strategy of the Philippines traditional elite for keeping themselves in power ever since the era of ex-President Marcos . For many years, through successive administrations, human rights organisations, in the Philippines and internationally, have tried to draw the world’s attention to extrajudicial killings and disappearances. Previous presidents may not, unlike Duterte, have openly endorsed extrajudicial killings, but they have had no qualms about the military and death squads being unleashed on community activists, journalists, church workers and trade unionists.

CHRP has pointed out recently how British-based mining companies have been implicated in the military and death squads removing community opposition to their mining operations. The murder of activists is continuing in the Duterte presidency. On 3 September, four farmers were killed by a death squad operating for a mayor who wanted to grab their land in Nueva Ecija. In July, a pregnant woman was killed, and four children and two farmers were wounded when a military battalion and a private army opened fire on Lumad indigenous people at a wedding celebration in Bukidnon.

The attention now being given to Duterte’s past is also happening at a time when there seems to be the first genuine possibility for progress in peace talks between the government and the left-wing National Democratic Front of the Philippines for many years, with the prospect of ending a more than five decades long guerrilla war. The first round of talks in Oslo in August had an encouraging start with an agreement on a number of preliminary points. Given the insistence of the rebels on fundamental socio-economic reforms, including genuine land reform and an end to the grip of a small group of wealthy families in power in the country, the resumption of the peace talks has given renewed hope to many people in the Philippines.

It is vital that these peace talks proceed. However, there can be no genuine peace with justice unless the whole culture of impunity for extrajudicial killings and other forms of human rights violations is eradicated. CHRP calls for the following:
All extrajudicial killings must be stopped immediately.
All paramilitary groups and private armies must be disarmed and disbanded.
All those responsible for extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture must be brought to justice.
Peace talks between the Philippines Government and the National Democratic Front must be supported in order to bring about just economic and social reforms and an end to impunity. ###

Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines CHRP UK
c/o Indigenous Peoples Links, Finspace, 225-229 Seven Sisters Road

London N4 2DA

W: www.chrp.org.uk

E: info@chrp.org.uk

T: 0207 263 1002

September 21, 2016   No Comments

On Pres. Duterte’s recent pronouncements on Mary Jane Veloso

Press Statement

14 September 2016

On Pres. Duterte’s recent pronouncements on Mary Jane Veloso:

Spare the Peddled, Punish the Peddlers

We believe it is quite politically palatable to plead for the life of one of the poor Filipinos whose ill fates made President Duterte say in exasperation, “My God, I hate drugs.” Is it not because of them that we precisely abhor the drug menace, of which we must rid society (in the right way)?

Indeed, it satiates overwhelming appetites for both justice and mercy to ask for clemency at the right time on top of cogent humanitarian grounds. Beyond divergent language and semantics, asking for compassion for the victimized does not quarrel with hitting hard on the victimizer.

We urge the President not to confound who Mary Jane truly is: a poor, young mother of two young boys whose vulnerability was taken advantage of and exploited for the criminal purpose of drug smuggling, which she had no knowledge of doing. Despite being convicted and put on death row, she is in truth not the criminal but the victim, the peddled and not the peddler, not only of drug trafficking but also of trafficking in persons.

Simply put, the context is: Mary Jane is a victim of dire poverty, of lack of real opportunities for a decent job, of pernicious drug and human trafficking. The law may be the law but it should not be blind or deaf to reality.

At any rate, her final conviction, temporary reprieve and now indefinite suspension of execution, and the issue of possible clemency are matters all within the ambit of the laws of Indonesia in the same way that the ongoing trial of the cases against her recruiters and the plea for clemency are also matters in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. They do not cancel each other out.

As a matter of fact, Indonesian and Philippine domestic laws as well as international law, when duly applied, prohibit punishment and guarantee protection for trafficked persons like Mary Jane. There is thus nothing inconsistent with “following the law” in pleading for clemency at the right juncture and through the proper channel for Mary Jane.

As the leader of this nation and as the pater familias of all Filipinos, President Duterte is expected to rise to his bounden duty and fight for her, and fight hard as he does for all victims of this transnational infection.

In lieu of passive acquiescence towards her fate, Mary Jane needs compassion as a victim of the drug menace while we run after the real perpetrators. We thus call on the President and his government to not give up on Mary Jane, in the same way that the people refused to break their vigil at the time her life was almost snuffed out for a crime she did not commit. # (je)

Reference:

Atty. Edre U. Olalia

NUPL Secretary-General

+639175113373

Atty. Josalee S. Deinla

Assistant Secretary-General for Education

+639174316396

National Secretariat

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
3F Erythrina Bldg., Maaralin corner Matatag Sts. Central District,Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax no.920-6660
Email addresses: nupl2007@gmail.com and nuplphilippines@yahoo.com
Follow us on twitter @nuplphilippines and facebook @https://www.facebook.com/nuplphilippines
Visit the NUPL website at http://www.nupl.net/

“By calling yourselves the ‘people’s lawyer,’ you have made a remarkable choice. You decided not to remain in the sidelines. Where human rights are assaulted, you have chosen to sacrifice the comfort of the fence for the dangers of the battlefield. But only those who choose to fight on the battlefield live beyond irrelevance.”

– Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his message at the NUPL Founding Congress, September 15, 2007

“After long years of experience as a people’s lawyer, I can honestly say it has been a treasured journey of self-fulfillment and rewarding achievement. I know it will be the same for all others who choose to tread this path.”
– Atty. Romeo T. Capulong, NUPL founding chairperson, in his keynote address at the Fifth Conference of Lawyers in Asia Pacific ( COLAP V), September 18, 2010

September 16, 2016   No Comments

Survivor of Fort Magsaysay massacre tells her story

Survivor of Fort Magsaysay massacre tells her story

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 7 SEPTEMBER 2016

Reference: Gi Estrada, UMA Media Officer, 09166114181

Agriworkers Condemn Killing of Organizer in Isabela

The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) condemns the killing of peasant leader Ariel Diaz, by three unidentified armed men in his farm in Villa Pereda, Delfin Albano, Isabela.

His killing comes a few days after the massacre of four farmers inside the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR) in Barangay San Isidro, Laur town in Nueva Ecija on September 3, 2016.

“We condemn the killing of Diaz as a brutal but cowardly act done to silence our farmers. The killings come at a time when peace talks and the necessary socio-economic reforms such as land reform and labor issues are being discussed by the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF),” observed Danilo Ramos, UMA Secretary General.

Diaz is the chairperson of DAGAMI, the local chapter of the militant peasant organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in Delfin Albano town, and the Inter-municipal Peasant Alliance Against Foreign Landgrabbing in Northern Isabela. Diaz is also part of the UMA organizing team in the said area.

According to the local UMA chapter in Isabela province, Diaz is active in various campaigns to expose big land issues in the province. The cases involve vast sugar and cassava plantations, so-called rebel returnee settlement sites and the encroachment of a German solar power firm.

One of the biggest problems in Isabela is massive contract growing being imposed on farmers by bio-ethanol giant Green Future Innovations – Ecofuel Land Development Inc.

Ramos stated that the killings of five peasants in less than a week, and the earlier series of arrests of peasant leaders and advocates such as rural missionary Amelia Pond, appears to spoil the GRP-NDF peace talks, and may be the handiwork of those opposed to resolving the decades-long civil war in the country.

UMA however urged the parties to be even more determined to address and resolve the root causes of the armed conflict and violent incidents which led to the killing of Diaz and other victims of rights violations. “We demand justice for Diaz and all victims of political repression,” said Ramos.

—————————— —————————— ——————

Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura

Federation of Agricultural Workers | Philippines

Visit our site: www.umapilipinas.wordpress.com

Follow UMA Pilipinas on Twitter

Like Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura on Facebook

September 13, 2016   No Comments

Statement of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearance

Dear friends and colleagues,

Please find attached a scanned copy of the statement that we issued during the recently concluded ACSC/APF 2016 in Dili, Timor Leste. We would like to gather more signatures so we are now in the process of circulating it online. If you would like to express your support and solidarity, please reply to this email with the proper name for attribution. Please indicate as well if you are signing on as an organization or as an individual.

In summary, the calls to action in the statement are as follows:

1. Ensure the safety of all human rights defenders! – ASEAN states must take all necessary steps (including enactment and review of domestic legislation and accession to treaty bodies) to ensure that they comply with their duty to respect, protect, and fulfil the rights of human rights defenders.

2. End enforced disappearances immediately! – ASEAN states must commit to the speedy, independent, and comprehensive investigations of the disappearances of Sombath Somphone, Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen, Somchai Neelapaijit, Jonas Burgos, Widji Thukul, and all other victims of enforced disappearance. Only in this way can justice be served for them and their families.

3. Sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED, and recognize the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearance)! – As the region with the most number of cases filed with the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance, ASEAN states must take steps to sign and ratify the ICPPED and pave the way for the Convention’s universal ratification.

4. Stop extra-judicial killings (EJK)! – ASEAN member states must respect due process and stop using extra-judicial killing as an instrument to stifle its citizens. In many cases, EJK has also being used as an inhumane and baseless method in the eradication of petty crimes such as drug addiction. For victims of EJKs, ASEAN member states must investigate properly and independently such killings and bring all perpetrators to justice.

We hope for your positive response.

Thank you!

Ron de Vera

Country Coordinator, Philippines

Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)

Rooms 310-311, Philippine Social Science Center Bldg.

Commonwealth Ave., Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

http://www.afad-online.org

Telephone: +632-456-6434

Telefax: +632-454-6759

Mobile: +63977-777-9170

“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door” – Harvey Milk


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Joint Statement for ACSCAPF2016 – 20160818.pdf

September 13, 2016   No Comments

The Vulnerable Children of the Philippines

The Vulnerable Children of the Philippines

Fr. Shay Cullen

7 September 2016

The death of two small Filipino children caught in the gunfire of the vigilante assassins sent to kill suspected drug users and peddlers is an unfolding tragedy. The shoot-to-kill policy that has claimed as many as 2500 people marked as suspects and killed in the past few months is a descent into hell.

Five-year old Danica Mae Garcia was shot dead when two men on a motorcycle stopped at the house of Maximo Garcia when he was having lunch with his wife Gemma and their two grandchildren in the village of Mayombo, Dagupan City. They opened fire as he jumped up and ran out the back. Danica, his granddaughter, was shot in the hail of bullets the assassins fired at Maximo. He was hit three times but survived and went into hiding. Danica died. Maximo had been called to the office of the barangay district official to confess he was a drug user and sign a paper. He said he had long stopped using.

Althea Fhem Barbon, four-year old girl from Guihulngan, Negros Oriental, died also in a hail of gunfire by police when they opened fire on her father Aldrick Barbon from behind while he was riding his motorcycle. Althea was sitting on the gas tank in front of him. The bullets passed through Aldrick’s body and hit the child. He died and so did Althea. He was listed as a suspect drug seller.

The shoot-to-kill is a policy that has divided the nation. There are those who want the police to uphold the constitutional rights of all and follow the rulebook of investigation and due process based on evidence. They want Universal Human Rights respected and the right to life upheld. They want the sanctity of their homes protected and safe from invasion without a detailed search warrant. They want their families protected from harm and violence and false charges and abuse of authority. They want a civilized society under the rule of law. They want their constitutional rights to be honored.

There are those who support a shoot-to-kill policy where no evidence of a crime is needed to mark a suspect for a hail of bullets. No warrant or proof of guilt or innocence needed. All those named as suspects are judged guilty by being on that list of suspects. The death list is a call to action by paid assassins, police and now under the emergency powers, the military.

Local district officials and law enforcers draw up death list based mostly on hearsay. It is like the age of the inquisition. You will be called to confess your crime and sign a paper, that is your death warrant and you must accept the punishment. No trial needed. Such a policy has left anyone and everybody vulnerable to be listed as a suspect and marked for death.

The door is open to those with a grudge or an evil purpose against their rival, enemy or competitor to denounce them as a drug pusher. Then vigilante killers will shoot them and leave a placard with the words, “I am a pusher.” There will be no questions asked, no investigation. Case closed before it is opened.

It is a policy that has put the power of hearsay and the dubious list of suspects in the place of hard evidence. It has bypassed the rule of law and entered the realm of lawlessness. The gun has replaced the courtroom and the balance of right and wrong. There is no need to listen to the pleas of innocence or recognize the truth. No more the plea of guilty or not guilty, no more the presentation of evidence and the rebuttal. There is no place for reasonable doubt. There is no need for the passing of just judgment. It has already been made once your name is listed. Sentence is passed with a nod and a promise of payment and the motorbike killers target their quarry. Such is the process of extrajudicial execution.

While the attention of government is apparently focused totally on the war on drugs, abuse crimes against children is increasing. The abduction of children by human traffickers who take them from their villages and pick them up on the streets and sell them into thriving and ever increasing sex bars and brothels goes on right before the authorities.

This is not new. It is the cruel sex slavery that is common and ongoing in the Philippines for fifty years. The rights of the children and youth are being violated daily in a slow, spiritual death and at times by physical death as illegal drugs and the HIV-AIDS spread among the enslaved young sex workers. The new danger of the Zika virus being passed by sexual transmission is also present.

The sex industry is run on illegal drugs. Shabu and other drugs are available in the sex industry, sex bars and brothels to elate the customers and keep the young girls docile and submissive. It is a business that is not a target of the war on illegal drugs. The girls are victims and can be rescued by the authorities, helped recover and testify against the operators and pushers. Justice will be done under the rule of law and not the rule of violence and the gun.

shaycullen@gmail.com.

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We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information and to contracted service providers for purposes of providing services relating to our communications with you.

•Physical Address:

CONTACT US:

PREDA Foundation, Inc.
P.O Box 68
Olongapo City 2200

Preda Main Center
Upper Kalaklan, Subic Bay
Olongapo City 2200 Philippines

E-mail: shaycullen@preda.org, Information Officer: predainfo@preda.org

TO SUPPORT THE WORK OF PREDA you may freely pass on the article or republish and send a donation via mail or PAYPAL at our website http://www.preda.org or through the Columban Missionary Society.

 

September 13, 2016   No Comments