Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has deplored the unrelenting state-sponsored killings disguised as “nanlaban” under the Duterte regime which she believes to have intensified amid the current global health crisis.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, deplored how the authorities consistently use their “nanlaban” narrative to justify the unjust deaths of victims who perished at the hands of police, including that of Froilan Oaferina III, a village councilor in Buhi Town, Camarines Sur.
“May nanlaban na naman daw sa Camarines Sur. The year started with the summary killing of human rights advocate Aldren Enriquez, the brother of my nephew’s former yaya, in my home city, Iriga. Nanlaban daw,” she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1063.
“Last Sunday, April 25, Froilan Oaferina III, a village councilor in Buhi, the town next to Iriga, died in an alleged gunfight with police operatives serving a search warrant. Nanlaban na naman. Paulit-ulit na lang,” she added.
Reportedly, Camarines Sur police chief claimed that Oaferina was killed after the latter purportedly fired at police officers serving a search warrant for illegal firearms at his house in Barangay Tambo.
Disputing the police’s account, however, Oaferina’s kin and workers said Oaferina was heard pleading for his life before gunshots rang out.
“Oaferina’s kin tells of an entirely different story: that of their loved one begging for his life. Ibang-iba ang bersyon ng mga pulis ngunit pareho sa kuwento ng mga pamilya ng libo-libong biktima ng EJKs.State-sponsored killings seem to have intensified amid a deadly pandemic,” she said.
Meanwhile, even before the pandemic, De Lima stressed that Duterte has been putting the blame for the nation’s ills on the “pasaways”- drug suspects, activists, critics – eternal enemies of his peace and order campaign.
“For this desperate regime, if you die from COVID, pasaway ka. If you are killed by State forces, pasaway ka pa rin, nanlaban ka kasi. Nasaan ang hustisya?” she asked.
As such, De Lima urged the public to help put an end to the bloodbath in the country by rejecting this vicious State narrative and resist the State’s policy of killing people because they are “pasaway.”
“With the growing discontent on how the government is handling the crisis, we may not be seeing an end to these atrocities soon,” she said. “Continue to demand for accountability. Until the death toll stops and the perpetrators are brought to justice.”
Based on reports, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has started looking into the police operation that led to the killing of Oaferina as the victim’s family appealed for justice.
“I laud the swift action of the Commission on Human Rights to investigate this latest case of ‘nanlaban’ in my province, specifically in Rinconada. Kailangan ng agaran at masusing imbestigasyon sa mga ganitong mga pangyayari upang panagutin ang sinumang umabuso at may sala. Lalo na sa panahon na lumalaki ang pagkadismaya ng tao at nalalantad ang kapalpakan ng rehimeng ito,” De Lima said. (30)