Meanwhile, Kabataan second nominee Mark Louie Aquino’s parents also received a similar letter, which read, “Warning: Love your life”. Aquino said they are not scared; in fact, they received an outpouring of support from the masses and their relatives.
Kabataan’s fourth nominee, Renil Oliva, together with a companion, was assaulted by anti-left organization Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) in Cebu City.
Aquino said there is no reason to be afraid. “The government should be the one to be petrified because progressive party-list groups are increasing and are now serving as genuine representatives in the Lower House of marginalized sectors. And now, Makabayan senatorial bets Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo are running for the senator.”
“It’s proof that no one believes in the black propaganda being hurled against us by the military and the Arroyo government,” Aquino added.
Despite the threats, Castillo is not having second thoughts about pursuing her advocacies. She said human rights work is a very important task. Castillo said she is inspired and motivated by the courage of farmers whose rights are often violated. “Even if they are being militarized they never give up fighting for their rights.”
She said a lawyer’s task is not only to represent her clients during hearings. “it is also a lawyer’s task to share his or her knowledge and efforts to defend human rights and be part of the struggle against social injustices.”
Castillo was still a college student in UP Tacloban when the infamous former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan was the commanding officer in Eastern Visayas. She comes from a conservative family, but she became an activist while in college.
“During Palparan’s time here, I decided to focus on serving the people. When I passed the bar exams and became a lawyer I even got more committed to my work. At first, my parents were against it but later they understood,” Castillo said in an interview with Bulatlat.
However, this courageous lawyer never took these harassments sitting down. Every year she writes an affidavit describing her encounters with the military.
In 2009, she filed a case before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regarding the harassments against her aired on radio by the military. The CHR in Calbayog city, Northern Samar held a public hearing regarding the matter.
She plans to file another case before the CHR and the local court regarding the death threat she received. She already filed a complaint before the Comelec.
When asked by Bulatlat if she plans to transfer to another place for her safety and security, she replied that being the head of Katungod-SB’s Legal Services, she cannot and will not leave her work. (Bulatlat.com)