Dispatch from Crame No. 1,041: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the spate of arrests and killing of activists in Southern Tagalog

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Nananawagan ako para sa kagyat at totohanang imbestigasyon sa naganap na mass arrests at pagpatay sa mga aktibista sa Timog Katagalugan kahapon ng umaga. Kailangang matigil na ang walang habas na pag-atake sa karapatang pantao. Kailangan ding managot ang mga salarin. The intensifying attacks warrant the attention and condemnation of the Filipino people and the international community.

Two days after Duterte ordered the security forces to “kill them all” and “ignore human rights,” 6 activists were arrested and 9 were reportedly killed in Southern Tagalog in just one morning. Whether it’s drugs, insurgency, COVID-19 or poverty, he, indeed, governs through violence and killings. 2016 pa lang, pumapatay na ang rehimeng ito. Duterte’s latest marching order is just a reiteration and a reminder of his long-standing policy of brutally eliminating perceived enemies.

I also don’t find it a coincidence that the massacre happened in the provinces under the jurisdiction of the AFP Southern Luzon Command, whose head is Lt. General Antonio Parlade, Jr., the poster boy of the Duterte regime’s brutal anti-insurgency campaign. He might be currently banned from red-tagging on Facebook but trust him to turn a day of rest and prayer into a bloody Sunday, Tokhang style. At talagang nangyari pa ang mga ito habang nagaganap ang isang Blue Mass for Police Officers sa Manila Cathedral. Talagang nakakagalit.

For this regime, government critics, activists and other truth-seekers can be, and are being branded as enemies of the State, making them targets of Duterte’s “kill, kill, kill” policy. Kailangang magtuloy-tuloy ang pagkondena at paniningil. We will not stop until these murderers are held accountable for their crimes.

End EJKs! Stop the attacks now! ###

(Access the handwritten version, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatchno1041)

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