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Mga kabataan, human rights groups nanawagan ng hustisya para kay Kian

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Iba’t ibang progresibong grupo ang nagtipon-tipon sa Monumento kahapon, ika-26 ng Agosto, upang hintayin at makimartsa sa libing ni Kian Loyd Delos Santos at ipanawagan ang hustosya para sa napaslang na binata. Kuha ni Philip Jamilla/TomasinoWeb.

“Justice for Kian, justice for all!”

Ito ang sigaw ng libo-libong mga kabataan na nagprotesta kasabay ng libing ng 17 anyos na si Kian Loyd Delos Santos kahapon, ika-26 ng Agosto.

Iba’t-ibang mga grupo at human rights advocates ang nagmartsa kasama ng pamilya at mga kaibigan ng namayapang binata mula sa Sta. Quiteria Parish sa Caloocan hanggang sa La Loma Cemetery.

Panawagan ni Virgilio David, obispo ng Caloocan, sa pamahalaan na itigil na ang mga patayan at sa halip ay magtayo ng mga programang pangrehabilitasyon para sa mga lulong at tulak ng ilegal na droga. Kuha ni Philip Jamilla/TomasinoWeb.

Sa isang misa para sa libing ng binata, nanawagan ang Obispo ng Caloocan na si Virgilio David na itigil na ng pamahalaan ang mga patayan sa ngalan ng kampanya nito laban sa ilegal na droga.

“Stop the killings, start the healing,” ani ng obispo sa kanyang homiliya, kung saan kinumpara niya ang pagkamatay ng binata sa pagkamatay ni Hesus.

Dinaluhan rin ang misa ng iba pang mga pamilya ng mga napaslang kaugnay umano ng nasabing kampanya.

Mariing kinondena ni David ang mga Katolikong ‘di umano’y sinusuportahan pa ang mga patayan at giniit rin niya na biktima lamang mga adik at tulak.

“[Sila] ay hindi kalaban. Sila ay mga biktima lamang. Ang totoong kalaban ay ang mga [nagpapasok] ng droga sa ating bansa,” aniya.

 

Nanawagan ang mga rallyista sa harap ng Manila Central University ng hustisya para sa mga napaslang kaugnay ng giyera kontra droga habang hinihintay ang pagdating ng kabaong ni Delos Santos. Kuha ni Philip Jamilla/TomasinoWeb.

Habang dinadala ang kabaong ng binata sa kanyang huling hantungan, nag-abang naman ang iba pang mga rallyista malapit sa Monumento upang magsagawa ng maikling kilos-protesta.

Nanawagan sila na bigyang hustisya ang mga napatay sa extrajudicial killings buhat ng kampanya ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte laban sa ilegal na droga na isa umanong porma ng pasismo ng estado.

“Kami [ay] lubos na nagagalit dahil ang batang nag-aasam na matapos ang kaniyang pag-aaral, maabot ang kaniyang mga pangarap ay maagang binawi ang buhay dahil sa giyera kontra droga ng administrasyon,” ani Eule Rico Bonganay, ang pangkalahatang-kalihim ng Salinlahi, sa isang panayam sa TomasinoWeb.

 

Makikitang nagluluksa ang pamilya at ilang mga kaibigan ni Delos Santos nang ito’y nailibing na sa La Loma Cemetery. Kuha ni Philip Jamilla/TomasinoWeb.

Mariin ring kunokondena ng grupo ang kampanya laban sa droga ng administrasyong Duterte.

“Wala kaming pagtutol kung ang layunin ng pamahalaan ay sugpuin yung mga droga, pero kung [ang kampanya] ay nangangahulugang pagkitil ng buhay ng mga bata, ng mga inosente, ng mga pinagsususpetyahan na gumagamit at nagbebenta ng droga, mariin naming kinokondena at tinututulan [ito],” aniya.

Para kay Danmer de Guzman, pangkalahatang kalihim ng grupong Kadamay, hindi tinupad ni Duterte ang kanyang pangako na pangalagaan ang mga kabataan.

“Kung matatandaan natin noong nakaraang taon, binanggit niya: ‘If you destroy the youth of this country, I will kill you.’ Parang gusto naming ibalik: ‘Pinatay mo ang isang Kian Delos Santos. Pinatay ng PNP ang isang Kian delos Santos.’” aniya sa isang panayam sa TomasinoWeb.

Dagdag ni De Guzman, hindi pagpatay sa mga mamamayan ang solusyon para sa problema ng bansa sa droga.

“Kung gusto nating sugpuin ang droga, droga ang sinusugpo, hindi ang taong bayan.”

Pinagpatuloy ng mga progresibong grupo ang kanilang kilos-protesta sa Mendiola, kasama ang mga grupo ng mga nagkakampuhang magsasaka at mangingisda mula sa Caraga.

Dito, nagsagawa sila ng maikling programa na sinundan ng isang candle lighting ceremony para sa lahat ng mga napaslang ng giyera kontra droga.

Pinagpatuloy ng ibang mga grupo ang kanilang protesta sa Mendiola sa isang candle lighting ceremony. Kuha ni Angelika Ortega/TomasinoWeb.

Si Delos Santos ay isang Grade 11 na mag-aaral mula sa Our Lady of Lourdes College, Valenzuela noong siya ay mapaslang noong ika-16 ng Agosto sa isang operasyon sa Caloocan matapos umano itong manlaban sa mga pulis.

Isa lamang siya sa mga 54 na menor de edad na napatay sa kampanya ng pamahalaan kontra droga, ayon sa pinakahuling datos ng Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center ngayong buwan.

Ayon sa mga naunang ulat, inosente at hindi nanlaban si Delos Santos, base sa testigo ng mga saksi at kuha mula sa CCTV. Taliwas ito sa mga paratang ng pulisya na gumamit ‘di umano ng baril ang binata.

Kasalukuyang silang nasa restrictive custody habang nagsasagawa ng imbestigasyon ang Philippine National Police — Internal Affair Service.

Sa resultang inilabas kamakailan lamang ng Northern Police District Crime Laboratory Office, nag-negatibo si Delos Santos sa pagsusuri para sa gunpowder nitrates.

Sa kabila ng mga batikos mula sa taong-bayan, ibinalita naman ng tagapagsalita ng pangulo na si Ernesto Abella na nagpatawag na ito ng imbestigasyon ukol sa kamatayan ng binata.

Samantala, ang pamilya ni Delos Santos ay nagpaplanong maghain ng kasong murder sa tatlong pulis na sangkot sa kaso.— A. Ortega at P. Jamilla

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PDP-Laban backs UST alumnus for House speaker

Thomasian lawyer Lord Allan Velasco was chosen by the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN), President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party, as their bet for the next House speaker.

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Photo taken from Philippine Daily Inquirer

Thomasian lawyer Lord Allan Velasco was chosen by the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN), President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party, as their bet for the next House speaker. 

In a statement Wednesday, June 26, Senator Manny Pacquiao, a party stalwart, announced the endorsement of Marinduque representative Velasco as their choice for the House speakership.

Earlier, majority of the PDP-Laban members signed a manifesto stating their support for Velasco. But later in an interview, Duterte said that he will not be endorsing anyone for the post.

The manifesto read: “We are firmly convinced that Representative Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco is imbued with the leadership qualities to steer and unite the entire House of Representatives in the passage of crucial legislative reforms in support of the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in order to safeguard the country’s economic gains and social progress.”

Further, the manifesto added that Velasco is “the best choice” in leading the 18th Congress “given his experience, competence and strong camaraderie with his colleagues.”

Meanwhile, Duterte, through Malacañang spokesperson Salvador Panelo, reiterated his statement saying that he leaves the position to the capable hands of the members of the Congress. 

He added: “[Duterte] is comfortable with any of the candidates securing the seat of the Speaker of the House of Representatives because they are all his political allies.”

Velasco finished his Bachelor of Laws in the University of Santo Tomas in 2005. Last 2018 in their homecoming, UST Alumni conferred on him Gawad Thomasian Alumni in Government Service Award along with Mocha Uson.

He served as the provincial administrator of Marinduque as well as the chairman of the Marinduque chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Among his priorities during his term as the provincial tourism council chairman was the improvement in agriculture and eco-tourism. 

Furthermore, as the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy, he passed an act institutionalizing energy efficiency and conservation programs, while advocating for affordable energy and sufficient power supply.

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Aegis Juris fratman guilty of obstruction of justice in Atio’s death

(UPDATED) One of the principal suspects in the killing of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, John Paul Solano, has been convicted of obstruction of justice and acquitted of perjury by a Manila court.

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Photo by Julius Villavieja

(UPDATED June 18, 5:52 p.m.) One of the principal suspects in the killing of Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, John Paul Solano, has been convicted of obstruction of justice and acquitted of perjury by a Manila court.

In a decision promulgated by Judge Carolina Esguerra of Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 14, Solano was sentenced to an indefinite penalty of a minimum of two years, four months and one day in prison and a maximum of four years, two months and one day.

Solano, a member of Aegis Juris Fraternity brought Castillo to Chinese General Hospital after the initiation rites of the fraternity in 2017 after he was called to revive Castillo.

He initially said in his report to the police that he found Castillo’s body in Tondo, and later admitted to having given an incorrect lead to the police.

The ruling of the court states that Solano “gave false and fabricated information to mislead the police or prevent them from apprehending those responsible for the death of Castillo.”

In addition, Solano failed to convince the court that he lied because of fear of being involved in the crime, as the ruling stated that his claim was “imminent” and “speculative.”

His perjury charges were cleared due to police missteps, and he cannot be sent to prison unless a final decision has been made since both obstruction of justice and perjury are bailable charges.

Hopeful at conviction, resentful for UST’s ‘silence’

In an interview, Castillo’s parents said that they are looking at filing more complaints of obstruction of justice against several Aegis Juris members included in the Facebook group chat which discussed his death. This includes Cavite’s 5th District Board Member-elect, lawyer Kevin Anarna.

Horacio Jr. and Carmina Castillo said that the conversations in the chat group prove the obstruction of justice and the attempt to cover up the death of their son.

“We are very happy [about] the conviction of the obstruction. This is the first step to a perfect conviction,” said Carmina Castillo.

“So clearly, it can be shown ‘yong cover-up na nangyari. Hopefully, we will file cases again doon sa mga kasama, ‘yong mga lawyers, ‘yong mga involved doon sa cover-up,” Horacio Castillo Jr. added.

Castillo’s father also slammed the University’s inaction. “Wala silang cooperation, nothing,” Horacio Jr said.

The couple further added that the University has been very “silent” in the case.

Meanwhile, the ten other fraternity brothers who are currently in jail are still on trial for violating the anti-hazing law.

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61-year-old columnist nabbed at Misamis Airport

(UPDATED) She was then set for release hours later on the night of the same day after the witness asserted that she was not the actual subject of the arrest warrants.

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(UPDATED June 9, 9:50 p.m.) Sixty-one-year-old columnist Margarita Valle was arrested today, June 9, 2019 at Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental by virtue of warrants of arrest dated years ago.

The former SunStar Davao columnist and currently a Davao Today columnist was arrested by joint operatives by virtue of two warrants of arrest. She was then set for release hours later on the night of the same day after the witness asserted that she was not the actual subject of the arrest warrant.

Judge Bernadette S. Paredes-Encinareal of Regional Trial Court (RTC) 10th Judicial Region, Branch 36, Calamba, Misamis Occidental issued the arrest warrant for multiple murder with quadruple frustrated murder and Damage to Property with no bail recommended dated December 29, 2011.

The other arrest warrant for arson was issued by Judge Aniceto Galon Jr. of RTC 9th Judicial Region, Branch 20, Pagadian City with bail recommended fixed at P24,000.00 dated September 4, 2006.

Valle was in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) after she conducted a writing workshop for the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and was about to board the plane for Davao City when she was arrested.

Valle’s son Rius Valle, who is one of the organizers of Lakbayan and Lumad Bakwit School in UST said that her mother was illegally arrested for “unknown reason.”

“She was set to go home after attending a training-workshop in CDO and about to board a plane to Davao when the arrest happened,” said Rius Valle in his tweet on Twitter.

In his Facebook post, Rius Valle said that those warrants of arrest are obviously “trumped up charges.”

Rius Valle added that her mother already made a phone call to Sister Mila Gimeno of the Missionaries of Assumption and confirmed that she was brought to Camp Avilon, Pagadian City.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said in their Facebook post that the reason for Valle’s arrest remains unclear, adding that Maj. Napoleon Carpio of CIDG-10 confirmed her arrest but is not under their custody since she was arrested by CIDG-9 operatives.

Moreover, College Editors Guild of the Philippines condemned Valle’s “illegal arrest” in their statement, saying that it proves the “regime’s continuous efforts to silence individuals who are bravely fighting for human rights and democracy amidst the worsening political climate in the country.”

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