Time and again, human rights organizations have called for independent investigation of mounting cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arrests and filing of trumped-up cases, to name a few.
Tags: Zara Alvarez
The World Council of Churches urged the UN Human Rights Council to create an independent and impartial investigative mechanism on the rampant extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in the Philippines, consistent with the recommendations of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which was released in June 2020.
Just days before and after the murder of Alvarez, several members of Karapatan are receiving death threats, warning that they are next if they do not stop human rights work.
However, doubts have been raised over whether the investigating body can truly undertake an impartial investigation into the two latest EJKs and other cases. You’ll find the reasonable ground for these doubts after looking into the nature, composition and apparent inertia of the investigating body.
Ang mga propeta ang gumabay sa kanila sa mahabang panahon at tumulong upang marinig ang mensahe ni Yahweh sa ginta ng iba’t ibang paghihirap at pagkalimot.
“We are saddened and appalled by the ongoing violence and threats against human rights defenders in the Philippines, including the killing of two human rights defenders over the past two weeks.” — UN spokesperson
Zara, who loved the sea, who loved to eat seafood and their local rice cake dipped in chocolate sauce, who worked tirelessly and selflessly, was murdered in one rainy evening. Yet, her fire burns eternal.
They urged the Philippine authorities “to carry out an immediate, thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into Alvarez’s murder, to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law.”
But her death will be a living testimony that terror-tagging is dangerous, that senseless murders happen under a regime that does nothing but to sow fear among the people.
Amid the pandemic, Zara Alvarez has been coordinating and conducting relief operations as part of a community health program. This despite repeated threats to her life and safety.
She was among the frequently red-tagged activists in Negros island. In 2018, her name and photo appeared in posters in the streets of Negros as one of the alleged ranking officials of the Communist Party of Philippines.