Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has extended her deep sympathies to the woman in Navotas City who lost her second son to extrajudicial killings following a police operation in the area that led to his execution last June 5.
De Lima noted that the said woman, identified as Cristina Ocdin, is just among the Filipino mothers who have to deal with the pain of losing their beloved children at the hands of state authorities implementing Duterte’s anti-poor drug war.
“Nais ko pong ipaabot ang aking pakikiramay sa ina at ka-pamilya ng napasalang na si Jay-Ar, na isa na namang biktima ng bara-bara at walang pusong operasyon ng kapulisan, kagaya ng nangyari noon kay Kian delos Santos, at sa marami pang kabataang pinagkaitang mabuhay,” she said in a statement.
“Paano naaatim ng mga awtoridad na patayin ang mga walang kalaban-laban, lalong-lalo na ang mga nagmamakaawa na para sa kanilang buhay? Ganito na ba talaga kalakas ang loob nila, na ayos lang pumatay dahil protektado sila at hindi sila mapaparusahan? Hindi ba nila naiisip, na tulad nila, ang mga taong walang habas nilang pinapatay ay may mga pamilya ding maiiwan?” she asked.
Last June 5, Ocdin’s son identified as Jay-Ar, 21, along with two other suspected drug offenders, were killed in an alleged shootout in Navotas.
According to a witness, he saw Jay-Ar begging for his life before being shot in the head by a police officer, adding how the 21-year-old also called out to his mother for help before he was killed.
“Someone heard him begging for his life: ‘Have mercy, I still have school to do!'” Ocdin reportedly recounted, recalling her son, who was supposedly planning on enrolling in first year high school to set an example for his younger sister.
Jay-Ar’s death happened more than two years after his brother, named Anthony, was found dead with a gunshot wound in the head that was wrapped with packing tape in June 2017.
“Sa pamilya ni Jay-Ar at Anthony at sa marami pang biktima ng Tokhang at EJK, patuloy tayong magsalita laban sa pekeng war on drugs na ito ng rehimeng Duterte at panagutin ang mga salarin sa malawakang patayan sa bansa,” said the former justice secretary.
The lady Senator from Bicol likewise reiterated her longstanding call to the government to stop basing its drug war campaign “on bullets and hunches in targeting suspects” and follow due process in treating suspected offenders.
“Kailan titigil ang ganitong karahasan na dulot ng palpak na war on drugs ni Duterte, na wala namang ibinubunga kundi ang pagdurusa ng libo-libong ina at pagluluksa ng mahihirap na pamilya? Araw-araw na walang tigil na karahasan – it’s time to stop this insanity!” she said.
De Lima, a mother of two, has denounced the ordeal of elderly Filipino mothers who continue to suffer from untold hardships years after losing their children to extrajudicial killings under the government’s murderous war on drugs.
She also supported call from United Nations human rights experts for an independent international investigation into the human rights abuses in the government’s all-out war on drugs, which the Duterte government refused to heed. As early as 2016, De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 9 seeking for a Senate investigation into the rampant extrajudicial killings and summary executions of suspected drug offenders in the country.