The government is killing Filipino youths - Karapatan

Press Release | September 7, 2017

"Due process is a mere abstract concept in the Philippines, grandstanded by crying cops, fabricated police reports and blatant lies. The human rights situation in the country has been on the decline, with the inception of the drug war campaign and the continuation of Duterte's counterinsurgency program. This rotting, brutish and fascist leadership is taking a toll on the Filipino youth as they, both in urban and rural areas, are being murdered by State instruments," said Karapatan deputy secretary general Jigs Clamor during a protest action at the Department of National Defense (DND) on August 7, 2017.

Karapatan joined Lakbayan delegates from all over the country to protest the continuing attacks in indigenous communities, the prevailing situation in Marawi and the continuing implementation of fascist policies that perpetuate attacks against the people.

Clamor called for widespread indignation against the killing of a 19-year-old Lumad student from Salugpongan Community Center. Obillo Bay-ao, a Grade 6 student, was with his father and brother on the morning of September 5, 2017. The group were on their way to harvest corn in the boundary of Sitio Barrobo and Sitio Dulyan. At around 2pm, they were on their way home when 2 armed members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) fired twice at Bay-ao. The latter was hit at the back but continued running. The CAFGU elements attempted to pursue him, but stopped when people were starting to gather. Bay-ao was brought to the Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City but was declared dead at around 9:15 in the evening.

Clamor asked "What could have justified the killing of a 19 year old boy who was just harvesting corn? What could have prompted two armed government forces to mindlessly target a student with no provocation? In identifying the Lumad as 'enemies of the State', their lives of the and their communities are seriously put under threat. This is the framework that Oplan Kapayapaan and other counterinsurgency measures instills on State forces - that they have the license to kill."

Karapatan's deputy secretary general reiterated the demand for the immediate prosecution of the two CAFGU members, identified as Joven and Ben Salangani. "We remind Duterte that his job as President is not to kill Filipinos, not to defend his police and military force, not to surrender our patrimony and resources to foreign interests,” Clamor added.

'We have Kian Delos Santos and Carlo Arnaiz, and now another Lumad student killed. What remains clear is that the State security forces, headed by the AFP and PNP, remain as the country’s top mercenaries and human rights violators. We will count the injustices and we will bring these murderers to justice,” concluded Clamor.


Jigs Clamor, Karapatan Deputy Secretary General, ‪0999-7721233‬

Karapatan Public Information Desk, ‪0918-9790580‬