Five months have passed, and even now, justice was nowhere to be found for the victims of the COPLAN ASVAL massacre.
Besides a commemoration, this week also saw deaths and harassments, with a majority of incidents happening in the province of Laguna.
Here are all of the human rights violations (HRVs) reported his week.
August 2 – Brgy. Pulong Sta. Cruz, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna
National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) once more harassed workers from the Aichi Forge Philippines, Inc. in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, Alyansa ng Manggagawa sa Probinsya ng Laguna (ALMAPILA) says.
Elements of the task force, accompanied by a leader known only as “Sgt. Aragon,” terrorized the workers in their homes in Brgy. Pulong Sta. Cruz, Santa Rosa City, Laguna, seeking the union’s leaders and threatening the unionists that being part of a labor union “would not be good.”
A “SSgt. Romy Aragon” was mentioned by labor center Pamantik-KMU as being involved in the arrest ex-Lakas ng Manggagawang Nagkakaisa sa Honda (LMNH-OLALIA-KMU) official Arnedo Lagunias last March 4, but it is currently unconfirmed if he is the same “Sgt. Aragon” mentioned in ALMAPILA’s update (READ: 2 lider-unyon sa Laguna, inaresto sa magkaparehong araw).
The aforementioned workers are also members of the union AFPEU1-Organized Labor Association in Line Industries and Agriculture-Kilusang Mayo Uno (OLALIA-KMU).
ALMAPILA adds that this threat and harassment of labor unionists goes to show how fascist the government is against its people and the nation, in general.
“Walang ibang nasa isip ang NTF-ELCAC at rehimeng Duterte kundi ang patahimikin at patayin ang mamamayan sa lalawigan at sa bansa. Imbis na tugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng mamamayan ngayong pandemya ay walang-humpay na pananakot at pagpaslang ang ginagawa ng Rehimeng Duterte at NTF-ELCAC,” ALMAPILA condemned.
August 4 – Guiginto, Bulacan
LGBTQ+ rights group Bahaghari says that trans woman Cindy Jones Torres was stabbed to death by an unidentified assailant, who was said to have used the “trans panic defense” to justify his killing.
Torres’ lifeless and naked body was found in a salon following the incident. The group said that Torres “went out for drinks with the suspect the night before she was found dead.”
“With the series of hate crimes and abuses committed against the LGBT+ community especially during the lockdown, Bahaghari demands Duterte’s administration to ascend to the crisis by passing the SOGIE Equality Bill, which the president has left to languish in his 5 years in power,” Bahaghari condemned.
August 4 – Sitio Biuyan, Brgy. Santo Angel, San Pablo City, Laguna
Christian student leader Fernando Miki Zobel “MZ” Royo was shot dead by an unknown assailant. Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) Laguna says that friends of Royo witnessed him delivering a shirt that he sold online moments before he was killed.
They added that Royo was also a student leader in Cristobal S. Conducto Memorial Integrated National High School where he also graduated from senior high school.
The group believes that these violent killings was due to culture of impunity that reigns in the country.
“Dalangin at taas-kamao rin naming pinapanawagan na matamo agad ang nararapat na hustisya para kay MZ Royo,” SCMP Laguna said.
August 4 – Phase 1, Block 25, San Lorenzo Subdivision, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna
Residents marched to ruin a gate established in the area that blocks them access to their homes because of a contested “No ID, No Entry,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Laguna says.
Such policy charges residents of a P150 fee that later on increased into P320 because of notarization purposes, Anakbayan Laguna added.
BAYAN Laguna explained that this move was said to be instituted by a certain Pastor Albert Malaza, who claims some part of the land in Lupang Panirikan even without substantial evidence such as papers or titles. Malaza also filed trumped-up charges against GABRIELA members in the area, who stand in solidarity with the residents.
Homeowners and progressive groups continue to call for an end to the money-collecting policy that is a form of a human rights violation.
“Klarong-klaro ang panggigipit at pagtapak sa karapatang pantao ng mamamayan sa San Lorenzo! Hindi kailanman isang akto ng panggugulo ang nagtulak upang pigilan ang gawa-gawang polisiya kundi ito ay pagtindig sa kanilang karapatan para sa lupang panirikan!,” BAYAN Laguna slammed. [P]
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.