LIST: Human rights watch (August 22 – 28, 2021)

Trigger warning: This article contains one news update that concerns a molestation case which readers may find discomforting.

No justice was given to labor leader Pang Dandy Miguel, even after five months since he was murdered one night. But much like the progressives who continued to call for justice for the victims of COPLAN ASVAL, also known as Bloody Sunday, there are still those who continue to honor Miguel, even in his death.

(RELATED STORIES: Lider manggagawa Dandy Miguel, patay matapos pagbabarilin sa Calamba, Families, friends reiterate demand for justice a month after COPLAN ASVAL’s Bloody Sunday)

From the slaying of one people’s lawyer to the molestation of one 19-year old woman, here are all of the human rights violations that took place this week.

August 22 – Brgy. Banaybanay and Brgy. Pulo, Cabuyao, Laguna

The homes of four Nexperia Philippines Inc Workers Union-NAFLU-KMU officers “visited” by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) – Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (LMU) says.

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) explained that around 8 to 9 AM, the four unionists were threatened to have their union disaffiliated with KMU, then to “agree” and be oriented with a “surrenderee.” Three of the unionists relented, while one was at work when the incident took place.

KMU wrote that this is the fourth instance of harassment experienced by a total of almost 36 Nexperia workers.

August 24 – Brgy. Coral, Calaca, Batangas

Peasant leader Agaton “Gigi” Bautista was “visited” by an unknown individual bringing a “map of houses” in Brgy. Coral, Calaca, Batangas, Gabriela Youth Batangas says. This was after news circulated that the military are looking for Bautista’s whereabouts.

Bautista is a Bakasan at Lakas ng mga Magniniyog sa Batangas (BALAYBAY) organizer and was formerly Samahan ng mga Magbubukid sa Batangas’ (SAMBAT) secretary general.

Last May 10, six individuals from Brgy. Coral were arrested by elements of the military. Gabriela Youth Batangas expressed that these harassment cases showcased the Duterte administration’s goal in silencing progressives (READ: Sa halip na ilaan sa kalusugan, DILG, NTF-ELCAC, nagbigay ng pabuya ng P20 milyon kada barangay para sa ‘peace, order’).

August 26 – Banawa, Cebu City

Atty. Rex Fernandez was ambushed in his vehicle by an unidentified gunman last August 26 in Good Shepherd, Banawa, Cebu City, ANINAW Productions reports.

Fernandez was on a hunger strike since August 13 against Contempo Property Holdings Inc., the condominium he was staying in, after its management allegedly cut off his water supply.

Fernandez filed a petition for injunction before the Human Settlements Adjudication Commission (HSAC) against Contempo Property Holdings Inc., after they threatened to cut off water supple for failing to pay the dues amounting to P3,400 per month. He was also a co-founder of the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL), who likewise condemned his murder.

“Before he was silenced, he castigated the present administration which he had hitherto placed his sincere hope on would bring change. He died disillusioned that it was not meant to be,” the group exclaimed.

Fernandez also represented the “Cebu 8” after the seven student activists and one citizen journalist were arrested in a protest against the Terror law last June 2020 (READ: Eight detained in Cebu after Anti-Terror Bill protest).

August 28 – Brgy. Batangas, Mariveles, Bataan 

A 19-year old woman from Barangay Batangas, Mariveles, Bataan was molested by a policeman and a marshall, after being allegedly reprimanded for violating quarantine protocols, Radyo Bandera 107.1 FM Olongapo City reports.

Patrolman Elmer Tuazon and Marshall Armando Dimaculangan, the reported perpetrators of the crime, are already in police custody. Anakbayan Bataan added that the incident took place around 7 AM, in a Quarantine Control Checkpoint in Mariveles.

The woman had also already filed cases of Rape and Acts of Lasciviousness against the two suspects.

Napakarami nang serye ng paglabag ng intitusyon ng kapulisan ang inilantad ng pandemya. Kaya naman, naniniwala kami na walang pakinabang ang PNP sa pagsugpo ng pandemya, dahil sila ang nangunguna sa paglabag, hindi lamang sa mga protokol, kundi sa batayang karapatan ng mamamayan [There have been many instances when the police have committed violations in the pandemic. As such, we believe that the PNP is useless in ending the pandemic, as they are the first in violating, not just in protocols, but also in human rights],” Anakbayan Bataan condemned.

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.

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