Dispatch from Crame No. 904: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the EJKs in San Isidro Labrador Parish


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Duterte’s brutal war on drugs continues, and the senseless killings remain unabated and unnoticed.

Not even a global pandemic can stop this climate of murderous impunity that has gripped us since 2016. And it has become an even deadlier virus, taking away lives, gangland-style while people grapple with ways to survive this health and economic crisis.

Fr. Robert Reyes has been lighting candles at the San Isidro Labrador Parish since July for those killed by motorcycle-riding tandems in the slums of Brgy. Pinyahan, QC. Sunod-sunod ang patayan. As if the deaths from this pandemic are not enough. But our alarm is now not only for the number of people being slain, or how the killings in Fr. Reyes’ parish which started in January have become more brazen with some happening in a 4-week span during the pandemic, pati na rin sa kawalan ng kaukulang aksyon ng mga otoridad sa mga karumal-dumal na patayan.

We’ve witnessed all of these happening over and over again, ever since Duterte openly endorsed shoot-to-kills and DIY arrests of those perceived violators of his “peace and order” campaigns.

What is more alarming now are the muted cries for justice, as orphaned loved ones mourn in dreadful silence rather than suffer the same fate. They’re too scared to complain. Sabi nga ni Fr. Robert, mas kinakatakutan na ngayon ng mga residente ang mga nakamotorsiklo kaysa ang pandemya. We cannot blame them.

Justice under this regime isn’t exactly for the oppressed and marginalized. But we should never allow those muffled cries to turn into indifference. Hindi dapat tayo masanay kahit kailan sa lagim at dilim sa ating bayan. We should regain our voices and refuse to be silenced. Resist! We must never stop sounding the alarm bells, sa mga simpleng kuwentuhan man yan, sa mga usapan sa social media, sa kalsada, hanggang sa plenaryo ng Kongreso at Senado. Kailangan managot ang may sala!

As I write this dispatch, I received reports from my staff of two more killings in Brgy. Pinyahan, one in V. Luna, and the other, along NIA Road. Fr. Robert will be lighting more candles for his murdered parishioners and we know those will not be the last. Let us join him in his grief and rage… ####

Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 904, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._904

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