Category Archives: Extrajudicial Killings (EJKs)

Statement on the Conduct of “Oplan Galugad” and the Murder of Genesis Argoncillo

The Alliance of Progressive Labor-Youth (APL-Youth, an affiliate of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa) condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the continued conduct of Oplan Galugad, which resulted in the death of Genesis “Tisoy” Argoncillo, as well as the unjust incarceration of many others. Clearly, this current drive to “discipline” “vagrants” or “tambays” ended the way many things end up in the Duterte administration—in violation, injury and death. The persistence of the administration of Rodrigo Duterte in enacting and implementing policies limiting and violating the freedom of movement of our citizens—in direct contravention of our constitutional Bill of Rights (particularly our right to presumption of innocence) and basic common sense continue to belie any further claim of good will on the part of this policy. What has been happening, as APL-Youth and many other civil organizations have pronounced and insisted since Duterte’s ascent in 2016, is not a war on criminality and bad behavior. It is a war on the poor, the young and the dissenting.

Genesis “Tisoy” Argoncillo was incarcerated last June 15, 2018, a Friday evening, by elements of Quezon City Police District 4 on allegations of walking around half-naked and causing scandal. His family and neighbors continue to insist on his innocence, saying he rarely even goes out of the house. Yet “Tisoy” will be later found in the holding cell dying from multiple blunt force trauma injuries, eventually ending up dead on arrival in the hospital. Officers of the Quezon City Philippine National Police subsequently issued contradicting claims regarding the nature of how “Tisoy” was arrested (even alleging his fatal injuries were self-inflicted due to “mental illness”). Media coverage would subsequent show documents related to his arrest have been tampered/altered to fit the official narrative.

It is very telling that lying, obfuscating and “policy-based evidence making” has been ingrained in the institutional DNA of the Philippine National Police—a government body who has ably served as hatchet man and executioner of every President willing to make a bid for control and fear over the public. They have perfected the art of extrajudicial killing and double-speak under the tenure of Presidents who have enabled their excesses and disrespect for the very mandate of their office (under Marcos, Estrada and Arroyo). The neglect of further administrations to clean up this rot has left us with this farce of a police force, designed not to serve and protect, but to punish and liquidate. Not even any further episodes of Ang Probinsyano can massage the hate and contempt the public has against these thugs in uniform.

Lest it be said we are merely criticizing the conduct of the PNP, we reiterate, as former Solicitor-General Florin Hilbay recently said: the policy “violates right to liberty, association, due process; it is anti-poor and encourages profiling. The only possible basis for such arrests—vagrancy—has been repealed by [Republic Act] 10158.” The entire premise of the PNP and Rodrigo Duterte’s conduct against the general public—any and all who would dare question their clearly-muddled logic—has been appalling and deserving of ridicule all over the world.

But most importantly, we at APL-Youth find it very distressing that nearly all of the PNP’s operations (supposedly pursued in the protection of the youth and families) precisely victimizes the youth, causing enduring anguish to their families. “Tisoy” Argoncillo joins the ever-growing list of children and adolescents whose blood was offered to the unceasing lust of this regime. Kian delos Santos. Charlie Jean Du. Carl Angelo Arnaiz. Reynaldo de Guzman. Vaughn Carl Dicang. Danica May Garcia. Althea Barbon. And many more.

Much of what we in APL-Youth have said in the past, together with the indignant masses, we will continue to say. Until justice is achieved for “Tisoy” and all the young who fell under the barrel of a police gun, we will shout:

Justice for Tisoy! Justice for the slain youth!

Stop the Killings!

Panagutin! Pagbayarin!

PAHAYAG NG WORLD MARCH OF WOMEN – PILIPINAS

Photo by: Joshua Noguit/Sentro

Hindi na dapat ipagdiwang ng rehimeng Duterte ang Araw ng Kalayaan. Wala itong karapatang mag-alay ng bulaklak sa paanan ng estatuwa ni Rizal na siyang laging seremonya ng mga pamahalaan tuwing ika-12 ng Hunyo. Higit pang naging hungkag ang selebrasyong ito sa ilalim ni Duterte, na sa katotohanan ay matagal nang ritwal na lamang na nagtatakip sa hindi magagandang pangyayari sa ating kasaysayan—mga pangyayaring dapat magbunsod sa atin na magtanong kung totoo nga bang may kalayaan at soberenya simula pa sa sinasabing pagtaas ni Aguinaldo ng bandila sa Kawit.

Hindi katanggap-tanggap sa mga kababaihang Filipino na magpugay si Duterte sa Inang Bayan. Hindi ang pangulong ito na nambabastos, nang-iinsulto, nagpapababa sa katayuan ng mga kababaihan dahil ginagawa niyang biro ang panggagahasa, ang pandarahas sa mga babae, ang pagbaril sa aming mga puki, sa pagpapatindi ng tingin sa mga babae bilang mga sexual objects na tagabigay ng aliw sa kanya at sa mga kalalakihan.

Hindi! Hindi ang pangulong ito at ang mga miyembro ng kanyang pamahalaan na nagtataguyod ng kultura ng pagkamuhi, pandarahas, pang-aapi sa kababaihan; isang kulturang patriyarkal na matingkad kahit mismo sa hanay ng mga babae at matagal nang binabaka ng mga tagapagtanggol ng karapatan ng kababaihan.

Hindi! Hindi ang pangulong ito na nagdulot ng matinding kahirapan sa mga kababaihan sa Mindanao dahil sa kanyang batas militar; na naging dahilan ng pagkabalo ng mga kababaihan at pagkaulila ng maraming mga bata sa mahihirap na pamayanan dahil sa kanyang giyera laban sa droga samantalang inililigtas ang mga sindikato na nagpapakalat mismo ng droga; na tumalikod sa kanyang pangako sa mga manggagawa na ititigil ang kontraktwalisasyon; na nagpatupad ng isang batas sa buwis na higit pang nagsasadlak sa babae sa matinding kahirapan; na patuloy na hinahayaan ang walang habas na land use conversion sa kabila ng pangakong moratorium; na planong tanggalin ang buong probisyon ng katarungang panlipunan at karapatang pantao sa Konstitusyon at ang restriksyon sa pag-aari sa lupa at mahahalagang sektor ng ekonomiya para sa malayang pamumuhunan ng mga dayuhang negosyante.

Hindi ang rehimeng ito na tinatalikuran ang maliliit na mangingisdang Filipino; na nagtraydor sa bayan kapalit ng mga ganansiya mula sa Tsina at Estados Unidos.

Hungkag ang kalayaan at soberenya hanggang ang kababaihan at mayorya ng mga anak ng Inang Bayan ay dumaranas ng pang-ekonomiyang kahirapan, pinapatay nang walang pakundangan, pinagtataksilan upang itaguyod ang interes ng makakapangyarihan.

Babae kami. Nasa hanay ng mga manggagawa, maralita, magsasaka, katutubo, mga progresibong propesyunal, mga mulat na kabataan, mga tagapagtanggol ng karapatang pantao at kalikasan. Ang laban ng mga batayang sektor ay laban ng kababaihan. Ang laban ng kababaihan ay laban ng mamamayan. Ang labang ito ay para kay Inang Bayan!

Filipino workers among the most at risk anywhere in the world – SENTRO

Despite assurances of protection from local and national laws, including international agreements, Filipino workers are living the most perilous time in their own country and in almost all other countries they are working as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), labor group Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) said over the weekend.

In its annual global report released last week, the International Trade Union Confederation has placed the Philippines and the majority of countries where OFWs are eking their living, under category five, which is a rating for the worst countries in the world to work in.

The report said that, “while the legislation may spell out certain rights, workers have effectively no access to these rights and are therefore exposed to autocratic regimes and unfair labour practices.”

“What is notable in this report is that the Philippines is included in a long list of countries whose current regimes do not actively respect workers’ rights. Hence, despite the existence of national law and being signatories to international laws on labor, the workers’ safety and protection of their rights are not guaranteed,” said Josua Mata, Secretary General of Sentro.

According to Mata, these include Bahrain, Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea, Kuwait, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates which are all major destinations for OFWs, “which means Filipino workers are really screwed up in and outside of their country.”

“The problem is, our own government do have the moral ascendancy to demand rights for our workers abroad when the Philippine government itself can’t protect its own citizens,” Mata explained. “It can’t even guarantee the fundamental rights of its own workers in its home country,” Mata added.

Another notable aspect of the report is that it included the Philippines as one of the top 10 worst countries in the world for the workers, saying “in a context of extreme state violence and suppression of civil liberties, workers and trade unionists in the Philippines faced threats and intimidation.”

SENTRO suffered the first trade union killing under the administration of Mr. Duterte when Lando Abangan, a trade union and community organizer, was gunned down in Naga, Cebu, last 17 September 2016. Several other trade union and peasant leaders have been killed since then.

The greatest challenge Filipino workers are facing explained Mata, “is the destruction of the collective bargaining capacities of unions through violent reprisals against workers union-building capacities and the weakening of the labor movement in general by not regularizing the workers thus preventing the workers from joining labor movement.”

So long as trade union killings remain unresolved, so long as employers can abuse contractualization, the violent repression of workers’ rights in the country will continue with impunity.

“Mr. Duterte should now realize the folly of listening to the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) when he issued EO 51. Rather than realize his campaign promise to end contractualization, the issuance only further legitimized the problem,” Mata said. “This will ensure that the Philippines will maintain next year its notorious distinction as one of the top ten worst countries for workers to work in,” Mata also added.

Stop the killings, Stop the killers

PRESS STATEMENT
KALIPUNAN
Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa
04 November 2017

Stop the killings, Stop the killers

The Kalipunan ng mga Kilusang Masa or Kalipunan is joining the Church in tomorrow’s mass/procession against extra-judicial killings (EJK). We encourage our members from labor, urban poor, farmers, women, and students to join this protest which calls for an end to killings under the administration’s bloody war on drugs.

We strongly believe that despite official denials from the Palace, killing remains an unwritten official policy in the war on drugs despite the handing over of the drug campaign from PNP to PDEA. The killing machine, we presume, remain intact and may just be waiting for another round of kill orders from above. We likewise deem that the only guarantee for the killings to end is by stopping the killers. That would primarily mean a decisive, more civilized approach to the drug problem and demanding accountability from those who were involved from top to bottom, uniformed or not.

We thank the Church for keeping the bells ringing on the issue of EJK. We hope the bells also ring on other social issues, particularly those that ruin the lives of the basic sectors such as unemployment and precarious jobs, agrarian justice, housing, violence against women, mining and ecological crisis.

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Kalipunan is composed of Alyansa Tigil Mina, Bagong Kamalayan, Baywatch Foundation, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific, Kilos Maralita, LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights), Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka, Partido Manggawa, Sentro ng Progresibo at Nagkakaisang Manggagawa, Union of Students for the Advancement of Democracy–Ateneo World March of Women, and Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality