[Statement] Rights group to Davao CSSDO: Hypocrite! -iDEFEND Davao

Press Statement
September 22, 2017


We deplore the highhanded questioning of the CSSDO on the young participants of yesterday’s picket-rally on the commemoration of imposition of martial law 45 years ago.

We do not doubt the mandate of the office to provide services especially to the children and the youth. Mrs. Maria Luisa T. Bermudo said her only concern was about the teens getting wet in the rain. But her insistence to take them and their guardians to her office for some lecturing in a time of a protest against martial law is sheer arrogance. One cannot be soaked wet in a light drizzle.

The demonstration calls on thwarting the imposition of martial law on the whole nation as well as the ending of extrajudicial killings. The declaration of martial law on 1972 left tens of thousands of victims of illegal arrest, torture, disappearances and summary execution by the military.

The recent enforcement of martial law in Mindanao resulted in a Marawi virtually a no man’s land and close to a half million bakwits. The hundreds of million pesos spent on the shelling of Marawi should have been used up in poverty alleviation.

If the culture of impunity continues and spread to the entire Philippines as in the killing of Kian Loyd de los Santos and Carl Angelo Arnaiz, then the country will soon be sopping in bloodshed. This is more than having our children drenched in rainwater.
If Bermudo is really concerned about the well-being of the children and youth, why didn’t her office raised a howl on the numerous unsolved extrajudicial killings of youngsters? There are many children and young ones roaming in the city begging for alms or asking for food, why not feed them or give free education and offer employment to them so they can become productive citizens?

Our members are responsible enough to educate their children on the issues in any activity they wish to bring them in. These children are not forced to attend demonstrations. The singling out of the youth participants in the rally is ill-advised.


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