By Angel De Mesa
LEGAZPI CITY – Thousands of Bicolanos from progressive groups flooded the streets to condemn the continuous killings and human rights violations under the Duterte administration on the 69th year of the International Human Rights Day.
Led by Karapatan Bicol, around 15, 387 activists raised the clamor to stop the killings, harassment, intimidation and other forms of human rights violations against the masses and the activists especially in communities.
Recently, another incident of extra-judicial killing has been added on the record of Karapatan Bicol.
Last December 8 at about 5 AM, Pamalakaya organizer, Aldrin Sese was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Lagundi village, Butuan, Masbate.
Earlier, progressive groups in Masbate held protest action and candle lighting for Sese.
According to Karapatan Masbate, Aldrin was an active organizer of fisherfolk in the said village.
Sese was now the 8th victim of extra-judicial killing in Masbate and the 32nd victim in the whole region.
In Sorsogon City, members of PNP in Camp Escudero used drone during the protest action in the province and made loud music to counter the speakers.
According to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Bicol spokesperson Dan Balucio, supposedly the government shall promote, protect and implement the human rights of the people but it seems that the government itself is the one that take the lead on violating human rights.
“That is why now we are shouting, along with other civil society to condemn and to hold the US-Duterte regime accountable for leading in those human rights violations due to its state obligation negligence,”said Balucio.
On the record of Karapatan Bicol, a total of 188 incidents of human rights violations in the region that has been linked to state security forces under the Duterte administration. 632 of these are human rights violations, 4,914 victims while 32 of these are EJK victims.
Along with these documented violations, recent cases of harassment and intimidation on progressive organizations in Bicol and its leaders has been foreseen by the group as the beginning of the threat of crackdown by Duterte in the region.
On saturday evening, December 2, the house of Anakpawis Albay coordinator Chito Banzuela was gunned down by 2 unidentified riding in tandem in Zone 3, Barangay Salvacion, Sto. Domingo, Albay.
Two days before the Human rights day, staffs of Karapatan Camarines Norte were threatened when someone broke their window while having meeting for the preparation of December 10 protest action.
This consecutive incidents happened after Duterte declared a crackdown on legal organizations whom he tagged as ‘fronts’ of the revolutionary movement, the CPP-NPA.
Despite the hint of Duterte for the possible resumption of the Peace Talks between the GRP and the NDFP, progressive and militant groups stand firm on their principle to resist on any anti-people policies especially its plan to declare a revolutionary government. (BaretangBikolnon.com)