MANILA – “They tried to bury hundreds and thousands of us; they did not know that we were seeds.”
Human rights advocates, families and friends of victims of extrajudicial killings posted this sentence with their respective selfies on social media platforms since Monday, August 9, as part of the nine days #StopTheKillingsPH campaign.
The groups mark August as “a deadly month in the Philippines” under the administration of President Duterte. Among those killed were peasant leader and peace consultant Randall Echanis and human rights defender Zara Alvarez. Victims of drug-related killings 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman were also gunned down in the same month.
“In remembering Kian, Carl, Kulot, Ka Randy, and Zara, we remember the thousands of victims of extrajudicial killings,” a joint statement, signed by various groups and individuals, read.
Karapatan said the Stop the Killings Week of Action in the Philippines, which runs from Aug. 9 to 17, “is a national call for domestic and international actions of victims of rights violations and their relatives, human rights defenders, people’s organizations and movements to strengthen the call to stop the killings in the Philippines.
In particular, the groups called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to conduct an independent investigation on the rights situation in the Philippines and the International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber to grant the Prosecutor’s request for an investigation in the drug war killings and violations.
Buwan ng Agosto pinaslang sina Ka Randy, Zara, Kian, Carl, Kulot at iba pang biktima ng pagpatay sa ngalan ng gera kontra droga at kontra insurhensya. Sa ating paggunita sa kanilang buhay, patuloy tayong #Tumindig para sa katarungan at para itigil ang mga pamamaslang. pic.twitter.com/ENUzKQEiAC
— Tarantadong Kalbo (@KevinKalbo) August 9, 2021
I AM ZARA ALVAREZ.
Zara Alvarez was a health worker and human rights defender.
She was murdered by suspected state agents on August 17, 2020 for her unwavering commitment to life, justice, and freedom.#StopTheKillingsPH
“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we are seeds.” pic.twitter.com/R5YvuFgOy1
— doc gene (@genenisperos) August 10, 2021
“THEY TRIED TO BURY US. THEY DID NOT KNOW WE ARE SEEDS.”
JOIN THE #StopTheKillingsPH SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS!
August marks a deadly month of killings in the Philippines under the Duterte administration. It was on this month that the lives of Randall Echanis, Zara Alvarez,… pic.twitter.com/Lrfd19fE1V
— Anne Marie (@marimayie) August 9, 2021
The campaign was organized by Karapatan, Rise Up for Life and for Rights, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, EcuVoice Philippines, Concerned Artists of the Philippines, Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination, Kalikasan, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers and Kodao Productions.
This was also supported by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, AWID, ESCR-Net, Front Line Defenders.