Iloilo City – Youth Party-list KABATAAN expressed worry over the recent spate of killings and shooting incident in Iloilo and have told youth organizations to question government’s inaction and tolerance of impunity.
KABATAAN cited the killing of a village leader allegedly involved in narcotics and a shootout of a police officer in a populated high-way. The village leader, Barangay Captain Remia Prevendido Gregori of Bakhaw, Manduriao district has been shot dead by unknown assailants last month. A shootout also transpired on June 26 that resulted in the wounding of PO1 Dorben Acap Jr.
“A climate of impunity is apparent. It echoes the general climate of prevalent killings in the country,” said JC Alejandro, spokesperson of KABATAAN Partylist Western Visayas.
The party cited the 20,000 killings recorded under President Duterte’s war on drugs. KABATAAN also said that there are 27 farmers killed in the country. Farmer leader Julius Barellano was shot dead on June 27 at San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
“President Duterte and his armed mercenaries are inculcating fear through violence against the poor. We have to demand accountability and due process,” said Alejandro.
“If the government is perpetuating this senseless killings and impunity, we ought to seek not just policy reforms but the removal of Duterte from office,” Alejandro continued.
Progressive groups like Kilusang Mayo Uno have previously asked President Duterte to resign from office over his ‘unfulfilled promises, anti-poor policies, and subservience to foreign interests’.
“We are also alarmed over the arrest and crackdown of ordinary citizens who casually lounge in public places. The government have criminalized those who are unemployed and those without decent housing,” Alejandro said in reaction to the Philippine National Police’s campaign against idlers and loiterers.
KABATAAN have called on youth and student organizations to ‘conduct forums, gatherings, and public discussions’ on the state of the country under President Duterte.
“We have to mobilize against impunity and collectively work to stop this senseless violence perpetuated by the Duterte government,” said Alejandro.
KABATAAN further urged the public to pressure government officials to pursue due process, respect of human rights and dignity, and the protection of public welfare.
A nation-wide ‘Black Friday Protest’ on June 29 and July 6 was called by KABATAAN to protest President Duterte’s tyrannical rule.