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A REPLY TO SUMMARY EXECUTIONS. Fr. Shay Cullen

feedback@inquirer.com.ph

The comments of Ramon Tulfo (Sat 24 May 14 )

writing in support of the summary executions, murder by death squads in Tagum City, of people judged guilty without evidence or trial is outrageous. They are marked for elimination, sentenced to the death penalty by assassination, at the whim of some government officials sending text message to kill. His comment and opinion ought to be rejected and denounced in the strongest terms as totally unacceptable and unworthy of the Inquirer and every decent human being. The Human Rights Watch research and report, “A Shot to the Head” and the Youtube video of former hit men confessing their crimes indicate that as many as 298 people including children were murdered by summary execution in Tagum. And we know summary execution is common elsewhere in the Philippines. Mr.Tulfio asks who cares anyway? and I want to say that I care, the families friends of the hapless victims and all good honest citizens of the Philippines care and millions around the  world. Summary executions of priests ,pastors, street children, human rights workers,media practitioners is so common that no one is safe from the hit men. The statements of Mr. Tulfo ,the Inquirer columnist who wrote in support of them are truly shocking and revolting.  Since some government officials are part of these assassination squads and the national government has to date no reaction against them or power to end the murders it seems to be official government policy to deliver the Shot to the Head. Father Shay Cullen withhold address Preda Foundation, Upper Kalaklan Olongapo City

 

Hi everyone, GREETINGS OF PEACE! Absolutely , I agree with Fr Shay Cullen’s observations. The Aquino administration has failed to uproot the culture of impunity thriving in the country resulting to unabated summary killings not only among journalists but also to human rights defenders, suspected criminals and political rivals. In the Province of Surigao del Sur, especially in the municipalities of Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza, extra-judicial killings have become very pervasive. The Philippine National Police (PNP) has been proven inutile to address this worsening peace and order condition in the area. Almost weekly, people were reportedly killed by still unknown suspects. What is shameful, politicians even broadcast in radio stations or even in public gatherings that certain people listed in the order of battle will be wiped out. I remember the Bishop of the Diocese of Tandag has issued a Pastoral Letter condemning the emergence of the Culture of Impunity in the province. With this sad reality of human rights violations, the Commission of Human Rights remained crippled to fulfill its mandate. I myself is a victim of political retaliations for my steadfast stand fighting for human rights and protection of our environment. I just hope that this administration can prove its worth… That it is on top of everything and is capable of handling the issue pretty well. Best regards, Chito

 

On Tuesday I did two painting session with the girls. Actually I planned two, but actually it was just one big one. When I started the project I thought the girls would just painting for like 20 minutes and then just leave because they don’t like it or because they get bored. But they don’t I practically have to force them at five o’clock to give me those paintbrushes back. It is amazing. They are so creative and they have so many ideas of what to paint and how to do it. Especially Sarah (SA) and Alexis and Elaine Joy (CSEC) are totally into painting. Sarah can sit for hours infront of the painting and just paints away. Alexis and Elaine Joy sometimes leave or run around but they always come back. Also Jaybee and Cristalyn made their picture with a lot of patience. It is just great seeing them do that. Ruffa also made almost all the white paint by herself. Later on she even advised the older girls on how to apply the paint so that it would look even.  Julie

 

This week was amazing. On Monday I was together with the “Human Rights Development”-Group and we visited a lot of schools and they were speaking of children’s and women rights. Even when they talk Tagalog, I tried to understand and with the help of a younger member of the group I could follow very good and I enjoyed the talks and the discussions with the parents of the students. Especially in the native mountain area the people were very interested and were leading a big discussion on the topic, while their kids were amazed by my visit because they wanted me to play with them baseball and talk in Tagalog with me and even with my “kaunti lang”-Tagalog we were “talking”.  The following day, I joined the “Legal Office” and learned a lot doing the summaries of the children’s cases, both girls and boys. I was doing this also on Wednesday after the meeting and newsreport about the “Aeta”-village, given by Ares. From thursday to saturday afternoon we stayed with the “Aeta”-people and it was most probably the most impressive experiences in my 8 months in the Philippines till now. The idyllic and native stay brought us to another world and opened up a new view about a lot of problems and things in the world and in general. We helped in constructing the houses from bringing the stones to the preparation of cement and anything else. Especially the encounter with the Aetas in the evenings on the bonfires and the games with the kids were the best parts of it.

But I have to admit that I find it kind of sad that the capitalism and all its bad appendices will slowly destroy the native culture in the Philippines till they are just “normal” filipinos and they will have lost all their specialialities like their own religion, their dances and songs and all the other stuff which makes them special and the heirs of an old culture. But I can of course understand that they also want to reach the amenities of the 21th century.  DOMINIC  from Germany 

 

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