Three years still no justice for Lacub


BAGUIO CITY — Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) mourns and protests the prevailing injustice to the Lacub martyrs, as it marked the third year of the willful killings of seven members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) and the extrajudicial killings of two civilians in a military operation, September 4, in Lacub, Abra that clearly violated international humanitarian law (IHL).

CPA along with HUSTISYA-Northern Luzon, an organization of families of human rights violations victims, expressed that it vehemently condemns the state’s conscious neglect to provide justice to victims Recca Noelle Monte, Arnold Jaramillo, Brandon Magranga, Ricardo Reyes, Robert Beyao, Roberto Perez, Fidela Salvador, Noel Viste, Pedring Banggao, and their families, especially since the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) have come to a stall under the US-Duterte regime.

More to worry, less to expect

“This regime’s penchant for impunity and foreign subservience only shows how truly fascist and reactionary this government is,” said CPA chairperson Windel Bolinget. “This is why the people have to push the parties in the peace talks to abide by the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIHL).”

Bolinget says that the peace talk at this time is more relevant. “With US warmongers at the helm and the carrying out of Oplan Kapayapaan, the conduct of war of State security forces will persist in consistently violating human rights and international humanitarian law in all of Philippine government’s national internal security policies and programs, and the toll is no less than on the people,” he said.

The reality of the civil war

Meanwhile, Cynthia Jaramillo, wife of Arnold, who is also HUSTISYA’s convenor, said that the on-going war between the state and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) should be realized as the reality.

“Many Filipinos are actually suffering in today’s society and the only option they see is by changing it radically,” she said. “This is the reason why we have people who chose to take arms to establish a society that is more free and democratic.”

NDFP consultant and spouse of Recca, Kennedy Bangibang said that while the worsening crisis and the systematic attacks to the people continue, the more that there is the need for the people to take arms and join the revolution.

“Damang-dama sa lahat ng dako ng bansa ang pagkakait ng naghaharing uri sa mga batayang karapatan at kagalingan ng mga pambansang minorya. Tuluy-tuloy ang karahasan, militarisasyon, pagkamkam sa ating mga lupang ninuno at yaman nito para sa ganansya ng iilan kapalit ng buhay ng libu-libong mamamayang Pilipino,” he said in a separate statement.

Hope for justice lost, struggle continues

“I don’t think we will see the light that justice will be served, especially in this administration,” said Nelson Salvador, Delle’s husband. “Our only hope now is that the memory and legacy of the Lacub martyrs will be kept alive.” Collectively, the families of the victims will continue to sustain the spirit of the martyrs. “We hope that this will serve as inspiration to all,” Salvador said. #


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