by Filipina Pen & Ink
Women’s groups and human rights organizations and defenders held an indignation rally at North Edsa on September 8 condemning the killings of Kian, Carl, and Reynaldo. The most recent in the spate of killings resulting from Duterte’s war on drugs.
The indignation rally is only one among the #StopTheKillings mobilisations led by Partido Lakas ng Masa, Block Marcos, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement, Millennials Against Dictators – MAD, and RAGE! at different points in Manila on the same day.
According to the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), a Human rights organization, more than 50 youth has been killed in Duterte’s drug war.
“There seems to be a pattern of killing among the young and poor, particularly minors. The drug war creates a policy to kill,” the group lamented.
The Philippines seethes under the drug war as the number of deaths continue to increase. In the past weeks and months, Duterte himself continue to add fuel to the fire – calling the victims, “collateral damage” or “mere casualties”, further adding in his recent statements that “Kian’s death will not be the last”.
Women’s groups were also called to speak and express their support on the call to end the killings and Duterte’s drug war.
Ingrid Calapit, a representative from the Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) and Philwomen, a network of women working in the ASEAN, expressed their solidarity with the various groups calling to end impunity.
The group condemns the killings and the culture of impunity, demanding the accountability of the government and calling out Duterte’s blatant disregard of Human Rights.
“The administration rubs salt to the wound when it awarded the Caloocan police “best in Metro Manila” following Kian and Carl’s death.”
The group pointed out how this is a blatant example of impunity – a system that “allows and gives merit to institutions to kill the innocent and the poor.”
WLB pointed out how this violence is not separate from the violence being experienced by women and communities daily, and how the present climate of impunity, exposes more communities to violence – not only violence caused by state forces but sheer abandonment of the government through poverty and subsequent attacks on human rights defenders who call out this abandonment.
WLB and Philwomen calls for access to justice, and unity, highlighting the need for vulnerable sectors specially women to be at the forefront of this call for justice and an end to impunity.