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[STATEMENT] Stop the Impunity and Violence against the People’s Democratic Rights! KILUSAN condemns police brutality against protesters and call for an independent and impartial investigation

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PRESS STATEMENT

October 20, 2016

 

Stop the Impunity and Violence against the People’s Democratic Rights!

KILUSAN condemns police brutality against protesters and call for an independent and impartial investigation

 

The violent dispersal of minorities or indigenous peoples in front of the US Embassy by state security forces is the latest in a string of violence on top of more than three thousand seven hundred killings of alleged drug related suspects.

 

From repeatedly mowing down protesters via a police vehicle to hurling truncheons and shields at vehicles already departing from the protest site, in singling out a gangly driver, surrounding him, beating, kicking, hitting and leaving him bloodied and bruised, can it be said that our PNP exhibited behavior that is expected of a police force tasked with “serving and protecting” its citizens?

 

We condemn this dastardly act in the strongest terms and demand that an impartial, independent investigation be done immediately to hold all those accountable and liable for the outcome of the violent dispersal of an action, which, according to organizers, was meant to be supportive of President Duterte’s stance of an “independent foreign policy.”

 

Is this not natural for an administration that has increasingly bared its anti-democratic tendencies with its derisive attitude towards human rights and due process since day one?

 

We believe that the conduct of the state security forces, which has shown uncalled for violence against citizens raising legitimate grievances, is only the logical result of a Commander-in-Chief who has continuously promoted violence and tolerance of the same in the name of quelling drugs and crime.

 

Remember that the present violent approach towards drugs and crime, which has clearly disregarded due process and the right to be presumed innocent, has already netted more than three thousand deaths including children and innocents.

 

By promoting a culture of impunity and violence, the emboldened state security forces have all become untouchable and above-the-letter-of-the-law types whose victims has gone beyond those suspected of drugs and crime.


Increasingly, we are seeing a state security sector that is being encouraged to clamp down on respect, promotion and fulfillment of the people’s democratic rights especially on those that embody the assertion of such rights as in the case of progressives.

 

To name a few, anti-coal activist Gloria Capitan (Bataan), of labor leaders Miralles (Quezon City) and Abangan (Cebu), peasant leader Arnel Figueroa (Palawan) or IP (indigenous) leaders Anoy Pasaporte and Jimmy Saypan (Compostela Valley) were gunned down—whether by police, military, security guards, unknown gunmen, or policemen posing as “vigilantes” as in the case of the anti-crime advocate  Zenaida Luz (Mindoro).  No one has yet been charged or thrown into jail.

 

This monster called impunity and violence, which President Duterte and his administration have unleashed onto the people’s democratic rights has to be reined in and put down. It has no place in a genuinely democratic government, much less in a government that is claiming to be the embodiment of change led by one that is attributing his mandate to an “act of God.” ###

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