Anakbayan Seattle condemns the brutal killing of a student activist leader in Bicol and the illegal abduction and warrantless interrogation of a youth activist leader in Davao City this weekend by suspected military forces.
Cris Hugo, a National Council Member and regional coordinator of the League of Filipino Students in Bicol, was shot dead around 10:30pm yesterday in Legazpi City by unidentified armed men. Instead of investigating the role of the military in this death, the Police Chief Narciso Guarin said they were looking at a possible feud between fraternities at Bicol University as the cause.
Meanwhile, Raunil Mortejo, Anakbayan-Davao City chairperson, was abducted last Friday night, March 17, near the BAYAN office in Davao by suspected military elements. Mortejo was released an hour later. According to his account, he was interrogated and harrassed for almost an hour. He was unhurt but was visibly traumatized by the illegal abduction.
The killings and abductions of progressives are being justified by the military by accusing victims of being “communists” or “terrorists.” However, this is without evidence, trial or witnesses presented before the military summarily executes civilians in the countryside. Any opposition to the current Administration is met with harassment or death.
Progressive activists are being executed outside the law by suspected military and police in an effort to silence dissent and opposition to the attack on democracy. The government is using extrajudicial killings to scare the population into submission. The military crackdown has created the equivalent of ‘killing fields’ in the Philippines with the unchecked murders and harassment of civilians under the guise of the war on terror.
In the past five years, hundreds of women, priests, human rights investigators, journalists, peasants and workers have all been slain or tortured under President GMA. This latest situation shows that the military is now shifting its focus to youth and students in its relentless rampage for control.
Here in the US we feel the loss of another young kasama who dedicated his life towards genuine liberation of the Philippines , killed because he wanted a systemic change to make the lives of Filipinos better. As youth, we are the future and we have a stake into shaping that future. We stand in solidarity with progressive youth in the Philippines risking their lives while organizing for jobs, housing, education, civil rights and social services.
The youth cannot be subdued into obedience while we organize for our basic needs and rights. We must now, more than ever, be inspired to fight for our communities’ needs while working for genuine National Democracy in the Philippines.
JUSTICE FOR CRIS HUGO! NO TO RETURN OF MARTIAL LAW! TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL NOW! STOP THE KILLING FIELDS IN THE PHILIPPINES! UPHOLD HUMAN RIGHTS! FREE KA BEL AND THE BATASAN FIVE! DEFEND FILIPINO IMMIGRANTS! JUNK THE RACIST HR4437!
– Anakbayan Seattle
“Serve the People”