“Be assured, my dear friends, be assured again, that you don’t stand alone.”
By DEE AYROSO
MANILA – An international human rights advocacy group came out with a statement denouncing the Lumad killings and the continued culture of impunity under the Aquino administration.
The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) said it will launch a series of “global action for Mindanao,” from Nov. 22, culminating on Dec. 10, the International Human Rights Day.
In a video address delivered to the Barug Katungod conference on Sept. 10 in Cagayan de Oro city, Canon Barry Naylor, chairperson of the ICHRP Global Council, called the Lianga killings “horrific and totally barbaric public executions.”
Naylor is an official of the Leicester Cathedral and is based in the United Kingdom.
Naylor said that he also experienced military harassment while in a visit to Mindanao during the Arroyo administration, and lamented that the situation has not changed.
“Those dedicated to serving the people in your land and improving their lot are denounced as supporters of the New People’s Army. And once this accusation is made, their chances of survival diminish so much, and eradication will surely be their fate,” he said.
He called the attacks by state forces as “utterly unjust and heinous behaviour.”
“They are the brigands, they are the murderers, they are the ones who are creating an atmosphere of fear, and brutal thuggery,” Naylor said.
He called Samarca as “a man truly devoted to serving the people, in the best sense of the word.” Some ICHRP members met Samarca during the International People’s Conference on Mining (IPCM) held in Quezon City from July 30 to Aug.1.
“As schools are an integral part of communities, these attacks are an open declaration of the Philippine state’s war of annihilation against people’s organizations, and communities, specially those devoted to resisting large-scale foreign plunder of their ancestral domains,” Naylor said.
Addressing fellow human rights defenders in the Barug Katungod conference, Naylor said ICHRP and other international groups will “do all we can to ensure the world does know and the world does respond.”
He said his group will continue the campaign on the human rights issues in the Philippines, and will organize educational tours for other nationalities to visit the Philippines.
“Be assured, my dear friends, be assured again, that you don’t stand alone. There are sisters, brothers, friends, comrades throughout the world who are striving to ensure that the weight of world opinion is brought to bear on Aquino and his administration,” Naylor said.
“We are urging international support and comrades to do all they can to highlight the intensified attacks of the US-Aquino regime, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the heroic struggles of the people of Mindanao, including the Lumad and Moro people,” he added.