Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima rallied Filipinos to continue standing up and fighting for the innocent children who were killed in Duterte government’s war on drugs and their families who have yet to receive justice.
On the commemoration of Niños Inocentes last Dec. 28, De Lima maintained that the children and their loved ones do not deserve to pay the price for the administration’s murderous drug war.
“Sa Pista ng Niños Inocentes, ginugunita ang brutral na pagpaslang sa mga inosenteng sanggol sa utos ni Haring Herodes matapos isilang si Hesukristo, sa takot nitong mapatalsik siya sa kapangyarihan,” she said.
“May this day also remind us of the appalling conditions of Filipino children who have been killed by Duterte’s failed War on Drugs. Ipagdasal natin sila at huwag tayong mapagod at mawalan ng loob na ipaglaban ang hustisya para sa kanila,” she added.
Celebrated by the Catholic Church every Dec. 28 in various parts of the world as part of the Christmas season, Niños Inocentes commemorates the innocent children who were massacred upon the order of King Herod, fearful of being overthrown by the prophesized Messiah, to ensure newborn Jesus Christ’s death.
Also known as the Feast of Holy Innocents, it is commemorated within the season of Christmas because the holy innocents offered their lives for the newborn Savior.
Of the thousands killed in Duterte’s drug war, innocent children who were killed are simply regarded by the present government as mere “collateral damage.”
“Hindi mapapawi ng paglipas ng panahon ang sakit na dinaranas ng mga ina, ama, kapatid at mga mahal sa buhay na naulila ng biktima ng karahasan, lalo na’t hindi na maibabalik ang buhay na nasayang,” she said.
“Huwag nating hayaang mabaon na lamang sa limot ang mga biktima ng EJKs, lalo na ang mga inosente at batang walang kalaban-laban. Hind sila mga estadistika lamang. Sila ay mga batang pinagkaitan ng buhay, pangarap at kinabukasan—sila na maaaring maging mga doktor, nurse, inhinyero, guro, abogado at iba pang propesyunal na maglilingkod sa kapwa at bansa,” she added.
This 18th Congress, De Lima reintroduced her anti-EJK bill, logged as Senate Bill (SB) No. 371, seeking to define and criminalize acts that constitute EJKs and strengthen the intervention and investigative functions of government agencies, including the Commission on Human Rights. (30)