Karapatan, Tanggol Bayi slam Aquino govt for the killing of typhoon Pablo survivor
Human rights watchdog Karapatan denounce the killing of Cristina Jose, the latest victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino government. Cristina Jose was one of the leaders of Barug Katawhan (People Stand Up), an organization of victims of typhoon Pablo in Davao Oriental that led the protest at the DSWD office in Davao City. Jose was killed by three men who were aboard a motorcycle, four days before the world commemorates the International Women's Day.
Jose is the first woman victim of extrajudicial killing documented by Karapatan this year, and the 18th, including four minors, since Pres. Noynoy Aquino took office in 2010.
What happened to Jose was "the Aquino government's non-stop victimization of the people. It seems that the government would not stop until all those who are opposed to its anti-people acts are dead," Cristina Palabay, secretary-general of Karapatan said.
Cristina Jose, also a Bayan muna member and barangay kagawad (village councilor) of Brgy. Binondo, Bagangga, Davao Oriental, was shot on the left side of her back. The bullet exited through her right breast. Members of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) deployed in the area branded Jose as “kagawad ng mga NPA” (the New People’s Army’s councillor), as she received threats prior to her death. Prior to the killing, in January 2013, the 67th IBPA conducted military operations in Jose’s community, after which Jose assisted human rights teams of Karapatan investigate the reported cases of harassment against residents/civilians.
"The people in Davao Oriental were victims of the government's pro-foreign business policy and neglect, and incompetence. It has opened up our country’s resources to big foreign businesses, such as mining and agri-business, that made the poor communities vulnerable to disasters such as super-typhoon Pablo that washed out the already insufficient source of people’s livelihood,” Palabay added.
Karapatan said the government’s callousness to the people’s situation is also manifested in the way the Department of Social Welfare and Development deprived the typhoon victims with their supply of relief goods, aside from profiting from overpriced projects such as the bunkhouses for the typhoon victims. “When people demanded for food, they get killed," said Palabay.
Kiri Dalena, convenor of Tanggol Bayi, meanwhile said, "women human rights defenders are being jailed because of trumped up charges." There are currently 33 women political prisoners under the Aquino government. "These women are mostly those who exercise their rights to be involved in political and socio-economic struggles of the people. Yet, this government sees them as enemies and are often victims of human rights violations," Dalena said.
"If Pres. Aquino thinks the people will be pacified through intensified state terror, he is mistaken. More women will assert their rights and for justice," Dalena said.
Tanggol Bayi and Karapatan expressed alarm on the rising number of human rights violations targeting women and children, as they staged a protest action in front of the Department of Justice carrying photos of women and children victims.