Int’l Human Rights Day Torture victims light candles

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    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.

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