On October 7, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the Philippines in Geneva, Switzerland. Ka Bayani Obrero, spokesperson of NDF-Negros welcomes the resolution and added that the international community is taking notice and is taking action on the worsening rights situation in the country. However, the resolution falls short in investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of state-sponsored violence.
In Negros alone, 93 fell victim to extra-judicial killings and more than 120 were illegally arrested based on trumped-up charges, not counting the numerous cases of illegal detention. Last August, renown human rights defender, Zara Alvarez, was gunned down in the streets of Bacolod City.
Peasant communities are incessantly threatened, harassed and intimidated by the increasing militarization in the countryside brought by the implementation of Memorandum Order 32 and Execituve Order 70. A glaring example is the mutilation of Bernardo Guillen, a farmer in his 50s from Brgy. Tan-awan, Kabankalan City. He was found decapitated and already decomposing last September 26. Bernardo Guillen is the 275th farmer brutally killed under Duterte.
Bernardo Guillen is the third victim of mutilation for this year alone. Last February 28, Ka Rido of the Leonardo Panaligan Command was captured and killed after an armed encounter in Sitio Agpapataw, Brgy. Binobohan, Guihulngan City. When elements of the 94th IB released his dead body to his family, his fingers were cut off and bruises was evident all over his body. Reken Remasog, a farmer, also had his legs broken by soldiers before he was shot dead in Sitio Maluy-a, Brgy. Sandayao, Guihulngan City last August 14.
Merciless, brutal and barbaric killing is prohibited under the Geneva Conventions. Protocol I and II guarantees for civilians and persons hors de combat. Mutilation constitutes a war crime in both international and non-international armed conflicts under the Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The latest crime by the fascist Duterte is the arrest of human rights defender and community development worker, Wilmar “Verdy” Pongasi, local peasant organizer, Jovanie Bohol and two habal-habal drivers. Collectively known as Moises Padilla 4, they were apprehended at a checkpoint in Brgy. Montilla, Moises Padilla last October 2. Similar to the crackdown of legal offices in October 2019, the AFP/PNP was quick to plant firearms and explosives and alleged that they are NPA members.
“These are just some of the blatant attacks and human rights abuses under the fascist Duterte regime. There is an urgent need for a decisive and substantial response to demand accountability for the heinous crimes against the people committed by Duterte and his bloodthirsty cohorts. We call on all Filipinos to continue our fight for justice against state-sponsored violence. Ultimately, it is only through the victory of the national democratic revolution can justice be attained”, ended Ka Bayani Obrero.