Statement of human rights advocates in Hong Kong on the killing of woman leader and typhoon survivor Cristina Morales Jose

The Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace  in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) strongly condemns the recent killing of Cristina Morales Jose, woman leader of the organization of survivors of the December 2012 super typhoon Pablo and village councilor of Brgy. Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental.

Jose’s killing only means one thing: the spate of political killings and other forms of human rights violations perpetuated by the Philippine state is intensifying and impunity under the Benigno Aquino III government remains prevalent.

For more than two years, the Aquino government has done nothing to stop extrajudicial killings, and other forms of human rights violations. His government is not keen on bringing the perpetrators of these dastardly acts to justice that is why impunity persists in the country. But whenever, members of his cabinet and allied individuals and groups are on fire because of different accusations of corruptions and wrongdoings against the people, the Aquino government is ever ready to defend them.

This obvious double standard of the Aquino government aggravates the sufferings of the Filipino people especially in typhoon-affected areas in Davao Oriental.

Jose, leader of Barug Katawhan (People, Rise Up!) was shot dead by a motorcycle-riding assassin on March 4, 2013 in Brgy. Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental.

Barug Katawhan is an organization of super typhoon Pablo survivors whose houses and sources of livelihood have been destroyed on December 4, 2012. After the typhoon, these people relied on government and non-government organizations’ relief and rehabilitation programs for daily survival.

Last week, the Barug Katawhan went to regional office of Department of Social Welfare and Development to hit DSWD secretary Dinky Soliman’s continuing neglect of duties and failure to provide the survivors with relief goods. Their action led to the public exposure of huge amount of relief goods that remain undelivered and rotting while most of the survivors are wallowing in hunger and poverty.

Jose led the filing of complaint to the DSWD Region XI Office about the blacklisting of those who joined the protest at the DSWD Regional Office in Davao City last February 25-27 and the January 15 highway barricade in Montevista, Compostela Valley.

According to Jose’s text message to fellow Barug Katawhan leaders, residents who joined the barricade were threatened by the military and other LGU members that they will not be given food rations. They were also being subjected to threats and intimidation by the members of the 67th IBPA.

She strongly protested against political harassment and human rights violations perpetuated by military and local government units as well as the militarization of relief operations as shown by the 67th IBPA’s takeover of the relief operations in Baganga, Davao Oriental.

She helped the survivors fight for their legitimate right for government’s basic social services but the Aquino government and the DSWD threatened her and other leaders of Barug Katawhan with legal suit.

She asked for food for her constituents but what they gave her were bullets.

The Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) calls on the Aquino government to call for an impartial investigation on the dastardly killing of Cristina Morales Jose and other victims of human rights violations in the country.

Once and for all, Mr. President, we are calling you to bring the perpetuators of extra-judicial killings and other forms of human rights violations to the hall of justice. This could be the only way to end impunity in the country. (PR)

Bruce Van Voorhis

Eman Villanueva

Convenors

Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights

and Peace in the Philippines

c/o ASA, No. 4 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 98105070, 97585935        Fax. (852) 27354559
E-mail: hkcahrpp@gmail.com