18 May 2017
Families of victims, rights advocates launch Stop the Killings campaign anew, call for rally on June 12
MANILA — “With renewed strength and courage, and the truest sense of justice, we, families of victims of political killings and drug-related killings, urge the Duterte government to put a stop to the killings in the Philippines.”
Thus declared families of victims of political killings and drug-related killings, in a gathering today to launch anew the Stop the Killings in the Philippines, at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) National Cathedral.
”Under past regimes, we fought for justice and sought audience here and abroad to stop the political killings. My husband was one of those who defended the rights of the poor and marginalized. He was a human rights defender. Why should he become a victim himself?” said Hadji Nurhidaya, husband of slain Bayan Muna Basilan coordinator Hadji Billamin Hassan.
Hustisya called for justice for the 55 victims of political killings under the Duterte government, including Hassan, killed on March 8 in an alleged raid in pursuit of Abu Sayyaf members in Lasa, Basilan.
“We demand a stop to the AFP’s counter-insurgency plan Oplan Kapayapaan. Pres. Duterte should order the AFP to stop its all-out war against the people. People who fight for the rights of their communities should not be killed,” said Nurhidaya.
Hustisya believes that political killings and drug-related killings are both done with impunity. It violates the rights of the people to due process and most especially their right to life.
For Nurhidaya, the poor and marginalized should be salvaged from extreme poverty, exploitation and drug abuse, and not ‘salvaged’ by the police and the military, in the name of the war on drugs.
“There should be an overhaul in the country’s judicial system. As long as the perpetrators are the men in uniform, the police and the military, the killings will not stop. As long as the butchers remain in power, they will use all their might to suppress the people who thirst for genuine change,” said Nurhidaya.
Evangeline Hernandez, chairperson of Hustisya, also affirms that the real criminals are those who trample upon the rights of the people.
“Spare the poor! We stand with the rest of the Filipino people that illegal drugs in the country should be eradicated. It is a grave socio-economic problem that victimizes the people. However, it should be addressed by effecting genuine socio-economic reforms, by ensuring their rights and human dignity are given importance,” said Hernandez.
Hustisya called on all peace and justice-loving people to support the call to stop the killings.
“Please join us in putting an end to impunity. We invite everyone to join the June 12 rally to Stop the Killings, and urge Pres. Duterte to stay true to his promises of change,” said Nurhidaya.
“From there, let us unite against fighting a common enemy – the rotten system which perpetuates impunity and violations to human rights. We must unite for justice more than ever,” Hernandez ended. ###
Reference: Evangeline Hernandez, Hustisya chairperson, 0950-5415944
Hustisya National Office
2/F #1 Maaralin cor. Matatag Sts.
Central District, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Telephone: (02) 990-6595