“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
By MELCHRIS CAYETANO
MANILA — Two days before the International Human Rights Day, various human rights groups remembered the victims of extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte, with their families and fellow human rights activists bringing with them potted plants to symbolize how they remain steadfast in their fight for justice.
“The seeds sown by those killed by the Duterte administration shall grow, blossom, and bear the fruits of justice. Through this action, we honor our slain comrades, activists, human rights defenders, as we gain inspiration from them to work for justice and defend people’s rights, especially the poor and marginalized,” said Roneo Clamor, Karapatan deputy secretary-general.
Karapatan was joined by Hustisya and Rise Up for Life and for Rights in this event.
As of November 2021, Karapatan has documented 424 extrajudicial killings. Most of them were red-tagged to justify the attacks against them – as in the cases of human rights activists Zara Alvarez, peace consultants Agaton Topacio and Eugenia Magpantay, and the victims of the Bloody Sunday raids, to name a few.
These killings, Karapatan said, were meant to sow fear and terror against those who are pushing for their “struggle for land, jobs, and livelihood, and for survival.
“Duterte’s murderous regime revived the worst horrors of Marcosian martial rule with his kill-kill-kill policy against anyone who stands in the way of his tyrannical delusions, and the tandem of Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte only spells more dead bodies and the continuity of these same murderous campaigns and programs,” Clamor added.