Tag Archives: Aklan

[People] The horrific crime against 7 year-old Mykie Prado by Fr. Shay Cullen

The horrific crime against 7 year-old Mykie Prado
by Fr. Shay Cullen

325-fr-shay-cullenWe are facing a growing crises and epidemic of child sexual abuse according to the numbers that are being reported and by educated guess that thousands more go unreported. It takes much courage and bravery for a child or threatened adult to report such crimes in a culture of apathy and indifference. Our Catholicism is challenged as useless if there is no action for justice. Sympathy among the authorities for accused rapists is mind-boggling and when it comes to child abuse, with brave exceptions, public opinion is a cold silent iceberg of injustice.

Mykie Prado was found raped and murdered on the 21st of February 2010 in Aklan. She died of multiple stab wounds. There were witnesses, they pointed to the culprit. A rape charge was filed against the suspect Dennis Eustaquio Gonzales, age 26 years (photo on http://www.preda.org). A medical report confirmed that the child had been sexually abused before she was murdered.

On the 19th of October 2010, an arrest warrant was issued against the accused who is in hiding and all the police, local NBI and CIDG have failed to arrest him despite pleas of social workers and the international justice group appealing to the Department of Justice for Mykie Prado and to prevent others like it from happening. An appeal by a German Mayor and many supporters yielded no arrest. The suspect is allegedly protected by the Mayor and the family of Mykie has been constantly threatened and intimidated to withdraw charges. But they hold fast.

In a letter to the Secretary of Justice Leila De Lima and child’s rights advocate Assistant Secretary of Justice Geronimo Sy, a brave woman witness writes:

Please, just call me Lena. I’m living in Sitio Luho, Brgy. Buruanga, Aklan.
May this letter serve to reveal the truth of Mykie Prado’s death. Ever since February 21, 2010 until today, 2013, my conscience hasn’t given me rest anymore because I know what actually happened that day when Mykie Prado died.

We don’t know how to really help to cause righteousness in Mykie’s case, because we are afraid of the Mayor (name deleted) of Buruanga, Aklan and the local police. Following I am writing to you what has actually happened, asking your good office to judge for yourselves whether it’s right and just what they have done.

Mykie is the third of six siblings. Since her parents, due to severe poverty, weren’t able to raise and feed all of them, they felt forced to give Mykie to far relatives. Those relatives promised to offer the child an education and a good future. The man’s name is Bernard Cahilig.

Bernard Cahilig is living together with his live-in partner Felicidad Gonzales, who is separated from her husband whom she has several children with. One of her sons, Dennis Eustaquio Gonzales, age 26 years old, was living with them at the same house together with Mykie.

On February 21, 2010, Dennis (Eustaquio Gonzales) came home from a birthday party at our neighbor’s. He demanded Mykie to buy alcohol for him. It took a while before she returned home, since our neighbors offered her some food. When Mykie eventually arrived back home, Dennis (Eustaquio Gonzales) was very angry that she hadn’t returned at once. We heard Mykie cry. At 3 O’clock in the afternoon, she screamed: “Father, help me!” Also Felicidad, Dennis’ (Eustaquio Gonzales) mother, heard the cry since she was standing outside just like us. She asked her son. What are you doing with the child again?

That day, it wasn’t only us who heard Mykie scream ” Father, help me!”. Also Felicidad’s visitors who were staying at her house heard Mykie crying; a couple, Mr. Democrito and Mrs. Ruby Barrentos, from Poblation Malay, Aklan. About 20 minutes had passed, when Dennis (Gonzales) stepped out of the door. He was holding Mykie, his face and t-shirt covered with blood.

Dennis (Eustaquio Gonzales) threw Mykie in front of the door on a place covered with stones. Then he and his mother rolled her on the rocky road. Thus, the murder is covered up and it looks like an accident. Afterward Dennis (Eustaquio Gonzales) used the water of our faucet outside of our house to wash his face. We were threatened that if we told anybody what really happened, he will be back and kill us too.

We were afraid. Maybe he really meant to kill us in case we told somebody since the mayor is a good friend of theirs. We were in panic. Our neighbors carried Mykie on a wooden board used for sifting rice to the hospital. Felicidad sent her son to hide in the mountains right away.

When Mykie arrived at the hospital, she was already dead. She had lost too much blood because of the stabbings in her body. Not only had she been stabbed but raped as well. The people asked for the knife and the addict son. Both knife and son had disappeared……..(to be continued). Full text at http://www.preda.org

Even to ignore or cover up such a crime is to our great shame, many children like Mykie Prado, a 7 year-old gets no justice. Yet a courageous and brave woman speaks out for a little girl. Thousands more are victimized. In India, Hindus and Muslims are outraged at the rape and murder of children there. They hold aggressive protest demonstrations on the streets. In the Philippines, there is silence by Church, government and the public at large. So what’s the point of being Catholic? shaycullen@preda.org; http://www.preda.org; http://www.predafairtrade.net

(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in the Manila Times, in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line)

Need Help? Contact: predainfo@preda.org

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[In the news] Boracay tribal leader shot dead after attending meeting -InterAksyon.com

Boracay tribal leader shot dead after attending meeting
By: InterAksyon.com
February 23, 2013

InterAksyon logo2A tribal leader on Boracay island has been gunned down late evening Friday, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) said.

Twenty-six year-old Dexter Condez, a spokesperson for the Boracay Ati Tribal Organization (Bato), was shot by unidentified gunmen on the way home after attending a meeting.

Read full article @www.interaksyon.com

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[Press Release] Bishops, indigenous peoples and bikers join 2nd Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan -ATM

Bishops, indigenous peoples and bikers join 2nd Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan
2-day event culminates in Ati ancestral lands in Boracay

Quezon City—150 bikers joined the 2-days advocacy bile tour to raise awareness on the issues that Philippine indigenous peoples and the environment face now.

The Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan” on its 2nd year started in Calapan City on October 13 and concluded in Barangay Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island in Aklan yesterday.

“As we tirelessly toured communities, we were reminded of our Christian responsibility to journey with our IP sisters and brothers as they defend their lands versus mining and to protect their rights,” said Fr Edu Gariguez—a global environmental awardee and major supporter of Mangyan communities.

Padyak is our symbolic way of being in solidarity with them,” he added.

The theme for this year’s bike tour is “Evangelization and Enculturation.” Evangelization—the absorption of Gospel values, Enculturation—expressing these values in terms that are understandable by the indigenous peoples and respectful of their cultural practices.

Oriental Mindoro face threat to mining, other ecological destructions

“We are against mining because we know that it will destroy our ancestral lands, the environment—for Mangyans—ang lupa ay aming buhay, kung pabayaan naming masira ‘yan, parang pinabayaan na naming maubos ang aming lahi,” Ka Ponyong Kadlos, coordinator of the Kapulungan para sa Lupang Ninuno and representative of the mining-affected Mangyan communities said.

The bike tour was supported by many organizations that support the indigenous peoples struggles and the rights of Mother Earth.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a coalition of peoples organizations, non-governmental organizations, and mining affected communities calling for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill strongly supported this event.

Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM said: “We are one with our IP sisters and brothers and mining-affected communities in calling for respect—for their right to self-determination and to say no to development aggression. Mining being one of them, as we have seen in the past, is extremely destructive, and the government should recognize that and act on the call of the people who want to protect the environment and call for its conservation.”

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (CBCP-ECIP) organized the bike tour, in coordination with the Vicariate of Calapan, Mangyan Mission, the Diocese of Kalibo, and the Atis of Boracay Island. (30)

For more information:
Tony Abuso, CBCP-ECIP Coordinator, +632 5274062; 5274155 <ecipns@yahoo.com.ph>
Fr Edu Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA Executive Secretary, 0922-8348248 <edugariguez@yahoo.com>
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, 0927-7617602 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Ka Ponyong Kadlos, KPLN Coordinator, 0929-7116147

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Event] Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan II (PKK II)

Indigenous Peoples Sunday
PADYAK PARA SA KATUTUBO AT KALIKASAN II (PKK II)
October 13-14, 2012

On October 14, the Church will celebrate the 35th Indigenous Peoples Sunday. A yearly event that started in 1978 by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, our Bishops have accepted and declared the second Sunday of October as Indigenous Peoples Sunday (formerly Tribal Filipino Sunday), thereby intending to call attention to the plight of our indigenous brothers and sisters who are so often exploited and discriminated against in our society.

To date, more than ten (10) million IPs, yearning for respect and survival, challenge us, their Christian brothers, to help redeem them from this undeserved situation. Their experience and aspiration remind us how life is interrelated with land as gift from the Creator, and the dignity of all women and men as children of God.

This year’s theme is “Evangelization and Inculturation”. Evangelization – the absorption of Gospel values, and Inculturation – expressing these values in terms that are understandable by the indigenous peoples and respectful of their cultural practices – go hand in hand.

And to muster the active participation of as many people as possible, a biking into the land of our indigenous sisters and brothers called “Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan II” is being proposed.

The Organizer: Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (CBCP-ECIP), in coordination with the Vicariate of Calapan, Mangyan Mission, the Diocese of Kalibo, and the Atis of Boracay Island.

The Objectives 1. To raise awareness on the plight of our country’s indigenous peoples and the current situation of our environment;

2. In particular, to drum up support for our IP sisters and brothers of Oriental Mindoro facing the threat of mining and other ecological destructions, and to support the installation and occupation of Atis in their ancestral domain in Boracay Island; and

3. To promote biking for a healthy body and for a clean & sustainable environment.

The Event: As part of the Indigenous Peoples Sunday celebration, a two-day biking event that will start in the morning of October 13 in Calapan City and will end in the afternoon of October 14 in Brgy. Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan.

Call time at Batangas Pier on October 12 (Friday) at around 3 pm. We will get the 4 pm boat to Calapan City. Estimated time of arrival in Calapan City port at around 6 pm. We will bike from Calapan port to Barangay Lalud, Calapan City. In Lalud, we will take our dinner and accommodation at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.

On the morning of October 13, the bikers will proceed from Lalud to the Calapan Cathedral for a Eucharistic celebration at 6:00 AM. After the mass, the peleton will start and will stop at the following municipalities of Victoria (Breakfast), Pinamalayan (AM Snacks), Bongabong (Lunch) and Roxas (PM Snacks). A total of 124 kilometers from Calapan Cathedral to Roxas Pier. From Roxas, the participants will take a boat to Caticlan port, then another boat from caticlan to Boracay Island. From Boracay Port, the bikers will proceed to the ancestral domains of Ati in Barangay Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island and will spend the night in tents along Boracay white beach.

In the early morning of October 14, the actual IP Sunday, the bikers will go to the parish of the Most Holy Rosary for a Eucharistic celebration. Right after the mass, the parish will sponsor a breakfast for the bikers. After breakfast, a parade-procession with the bikers will proceed along the beach of Boracay going back to Barangay Manoc-manoc. A sponsored lunch from the supporters of Atis in Boracay Island and prepared by Ati themselves will be served for the bikers. A short program will follow. Between 2pm -5pm is free time, and call time for departure at 5:30 pm. We expect to board the 8 pm boat from Caticlan to Batangas City by 7 pm. Estimated time of arrival in Batangas City is around 5 am of October 15.

The Participants: Around 150 bike enthusiasts from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are expected to participate, together with bishops, priests, lay and IP leaders.

There will be no registration fee for this Padyak para sa Katutubo at Kalikasan II. However, we are requiring the participants to shoulder their own transportation expenses. Specifically, the following are the regular boat fees (plus terminal and environmental fees in Boracay):

Batangas Pier to Calapan City – P 240.00 + P192.00 (bike)
Roxas, Or. Min. to Caticlan, Malay – P 460.00 + P368.00 (bike)
Caticlan to Boracay Island – P 50.00 + P 34.00 (bike) round trip
Caticlan to Batangas Pier – P 862.75 + P350.00 (bike)
Caticlan terminal Fee P 25.00
Boracay Envi Fee P 75.00
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Total P1,712.75 + P944.00 = P2,656.75

We are still negotiating for discounts with Montenegro Shipping and To Go Travel. We will inform you as soon as we finish the negotiation.

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