Four Days before PNoy’s SONA, at the gates of Camp Crame,
Militant Urban Poor groups to stage protest decrying the continuing violation on Human Rights!
The most violent demolitions in the history of the urban poor happened during the term of PNoy as president. Hundreds of policemen are being deployed, along with members of the SWAT, whenever demolitions are implemented. One of these demolitions was in Brgy. San Roque, North Triangle, Quezon City, on September 2011, five months after he was elected as President. It was then followed by other demolitions in Brgy. Corazon de Jesus in San Juan and in Laperal Compound, Makati City. The last was the brutal and violent demolition that happened in Silverio Compound, Paranaque City on April 23, 2012 that resulted to the death of a youth that participated in the people’s barricade launched by the residents to protect and fight for their livelihood and their homes. Other than the implementation of violent demolitions, the government also launched their Civil Military Operations, in the forms of feeding programs and medical missions, for further surveillance and to spread fear amongst the communities with various forms of actions and defiance.
During PNoy’s 2 years in position, the widespread violations in the rights of the people gravely increase. In the ranks of the urban poor itself, there have been 15 cases of violent demolitions leaving 50,000 families jobless and homeless; 99 people were illegally arrested and detained; seven (7) individuals lost their lives just because they fought for their rights. Two (2) of them were from Navotas, another 2 from Malabon, 2 from Caloocan and 1 from Paranaque.
“The government is a criminal because it is slowly killing the urban poor like us just to give way to the caprices of his masters, the big businessmen. When he destroys our homes and livelihoods, he is also killing our families. We are the victims of massive demolitions of our homes and livelihoods yet we are the ones that are being criminalized. We are the ones that are always arrested. They label our protests and defiance as bad and against the law. They even lead to killing our mass leaders that were active in standing and fighting for our rights. Those people that implements inhumane programs are the ones that should be called criminals “, says Leah Valencia, Secretary General of Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap – National Capital Region (KADAMAY-NCR)
Loy Villarias, Spokesperson of Karapatan-NCR further added that as the level of the people’s struggles intensifies in claiming their legitimate demands and in pushing for their basic rights, a higher level of violence is the government’s response. And in his 2 years as a president, PNoy more massively and blatantly violated the rights of the people in terms of economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights. The number of political detainees increases, which is estimated to have reached more than 364, eighty-one (81) of whom were arrested during PNoy’s term. These political detainees are not criminals, not even close to being bad persons. They are not different from the urban poor who are fighting for their rights to land, their homes, livelihoods, and justice.
This morning, the program that is being launched in front of the gates of Camp Crame, is a call to immediately have the policemen, members of SWAT and the government itself to answer and be held liable for all their crimes and violations to the urban poor’s rights as human beings. The protesting urban poor are carrying with them placards of the 7 individuals who died from their ranks during the term of PNoy. This protest action is also a sign of support of the urban poor groups for the political detainees all over the country that are conducting a “fasting” campaign. The urban poor groups will stay outside Camp Crame after their picket-protest to support and call for the immediate release of all political prisoners through General, Unconditional and Omnibus Amnesty.
“Even if they make it look and brand as criminals those like us that continue to fight and even if they kill our mass leaders, the government can never hide from these screaming realities – that there is an extreme poverty in the country and gross violations in our right to work and to live decently, and our right to live with dignity. These are the reasons why more and more urban poor communities are fighting – for us to claim our demands for our rights and our clamour for true and genuine justice and a meaningful change for our family and the next generation”, Leah Valencia ended. ###
Reference Persons: Leah Valencia, Secretary General KADAMAY NCR 0921.9748372 Loy Villarias, Spokesperson KARAPATAN NCR