BALANGA CITY — Torture victims and their sympathizers on Wednesday night held a candle-lighting activity here to mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and the International Human Rights Day.
They displayedstreamers denouncing torture and violations of human rights. “Ginawa namin ito bilang pagpapaalaala sa gobyerno dahil sa kabila ng mga batas, meron pa ring torture at mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao,” said Derek Cabe, spokesperson of the Kilusang Pam-bansang Demokrasya (KPD) in Bataan.
“Sana irepeto at kilalanin na ang karapatang pantao ay ipinatutupad para sa dignidad ng mga tao,” she said. Cabe quoting reports of the Commission on Human Rights claimed that from January 2014 o this date, there are 28 cases of torture in the Philippines, 23 of which are allegedly military- perpetrated.
“Wala ni isa mang napaparusahan pa.” Danilo Castro, 63, of Morong, Bataan, said he was tortured by members of the then Philippine Constabulary in1973. “Pinagbintangan akong kasapi ng New People’s Army. Tadyak, suntok, sipa ang naranasan ko.”
Former Vice Mayor Leonardo Cruz of Dinalupihan, Bataan said he was suspected of being an NPA supporter that he said he was not. “Dinala ako sa isang military detachment sa Hermosa, Bataan at inilublob ako sa drum ng tubig at pilit na pinaamin na NPA.” Miguela Orpilla, 67, of Abucay, Bataan, said she was suspected of feeding the rebels in 1978 and imprisoned for two months by the military.“
Kinuryente ako ng plantsa,” the old woman said. Castro, Cruz and Orpilla appealed to government to stop violating human rights. “Dapat bigyan kami ng katarungan,” Orpilla said. Some members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community joined the candle-lighting activity at the Plaza Mayor in Balanga City.
They claimed they were also victims of human rights violation in the form of discrimination. “ I p i n a g l a l a b a n namin ang pantay na karapatan, respeto,” Pam said.