Migrante International welcomes the decision of the Caloocan Regional Trial Court Branch 125 in convicting police officers PO3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Pereda and PO1 Jerwin Cruz for murdering 17-year old and OFW son Kian delos Santos. This court decision is highly significant as it confirms the involvement of officers from the Philippine National Police in perpetrating extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under the bloody reign of terror of the US-Duterte regime.
We count on judicial authorities in ensuring that these murderers will fully serve their sentences in jail. Let this be a stern warning to all uniformed personnel who got blood on their hands. For the growing masses of Filipinos who pursue justice, this is viewed as an ominous handwriting on the wall for Duterte who is the chief instigator of state-sponsored killings.
The prevailing question now is what happens to the thousands upon thousands of unresolved cases of killings? We call on all the bereaved families and friends of the victims to come out and assert the attainment of justice for their loved ones. Duterte and his murderous state agents must pay for their crimes.
Likewise, it is crucial that all of us remain vigilant on the next steps that will be undertaken by the defense team of the convicts to appeal for the court’s verdict. In numerous times, Duterte has vowed that he will fully support and protect any police that will be prosecuted for these killings. Last September, Duterte himself admitted his sinful role in extrajudicial killings.
More outrageous, Caloocan City Police Senior Superintendent Chito Bersaluna who was sacked after Kian’s murder was promoted this year as Bulacan’s provincial chief and led the violent dispersal and imprisonment of leaders and supporters of the NutriAsia workers’ strike. This madness must stop! Duterte’s addiction to impunity must be countered by the people’s dissent and resistance.
Just very recently, the Duterte regime issued Memorandum Order 32 deploying additional troops to Samar, Negros, and the Bicol region to quell “lawless violence”. While the groups targeted are not cited, we dread that the Fascist forces of the regime will use this decree to intensify Fascist attacks on peasants clamouring for genuine agrarian reform. At the back of the approaching campaign period, this may be used to repress and harass supporters of the opposition in the countryside.
In the same manner, Duterte’s pronouncement on the formation of death squads to slay idlers in transport terminals whom he branded as prospective NPAs is seen by many as a go signal to assassinate and target leaders and members of progressive people’s organizations operating in urban areas.
Migrante denounces all Duterte’s efforts to cement his criminal reign of terror and bloodshed in the Philippines. We call on the OFW family of Kian to work with other families of victims in attaining justice. For this pursuit, the Filipino people must unite and stand with the families of victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines to hasten the enforcement of judgment on the perpetrators by judicial authorities.
Stop the killings! Stop the attacks!
Justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings!
End Duterte’s reign of terror!