As critics stand together in preparation for Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) tomorrow, citizens continue to feel the effects of the Terror Law.
From four farmers being charged under the Terror Law (the first in the Southern Tagalog [ST] region) to a radio journalist being shot dead in broad daylight, here are all of the human rights violations that were reported this week.
July 22 [date reported] – Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental
Elements of 76th Infantry Battalion (IB) detained four farmers from Sablayan, Mindoro Occidental, human rights alliance Karapatan Timog Katagalugan (TK) says.
Besides being charged for “violating” the Terror Law, farmers Sherlito Casidsid, Allen dela Fuente, Miguel Manguera, and Fe Marinas are all being accused of aiding armed revolutionary group New People’s Army (NPA). While Manguera and Marinas are also being charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, both Casidsid and dela Fuente are facing raps for obstruction of justice.
The alliance recalled a similar case involving Japer Garung and Junior Ramos, two Aetas who were reported to be the first to be charged under the Terror Law. Both Garung and Ramos’ case, however, was junked by Olongapo Regional Trial Court last July 19 after it was found that neither of the two were proven to be involved in the death of a soldier last 2020 (READ: Four Aetas first to be charged under Terror Law).
June 22 – Brgy. Mambaling, Cebu City, Cebu
dyRb radio blocktimer Renante “Rey” Cortes was shot dead on July 22, at around 9 AM outside of their station, Anakbayan Laguna says.
Cortes had just finished his radio program on dyRB and stepped out of the station to head home for his wife’s birthday went he was shot. This was the second attempt on his life.
He was rushed to Cebu City Medical Center but was declared dead at around 9:55 AM.
Cortes is the 20th journalist killed under the Duterte administration, according to data from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Cebu Chapter (NUJP).
July 24 – Sitio San Roque, Brgy. Pinugay, Baras, Rizal
Two Masungi Georeserve rangers were injured after being shot at last Saturday, July 24.
Melvin Akmad was shot in the head while Kukan Maas received it in the neck when they were at a reforestation area around 9 pm. They were immediately treated with first aid and was transfered the next morning to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center.
The culprit and motive for the attack remains unknown but the reserve has called on for the protection of the police as this is another case of harassment and violence that their rangers have been experiencing.
Human Rights Watch is a weekly collation of human rights news stories gathered from different sources by UPLB Perspective. This initiative was launched in response to the sweeping number of human rights violations (HRVs) among various sectors across the country.