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September 3, 2004 · 


United Movement Against Summary Killings (UNMASK)

Alarmed with the phenomenon of extra judicial killings particularly in Davao, the United Movement Against Summary Killings (UNMASK) rallies the Filipino nation in calling to end extra-judicial executions in all parts of the country.

Murder, in whatever angle it is seen, is unjustifiable. It becomes more deplorable when installed mechanisms and structures for the protection of life and human rights are silent on the issue and become insensitive to the plight of its people.

The unresolved killings in the country today, marks impunity in its highest degree. This either shows the ineptitude of the government in curbing criminality or its approval of the killing-spree ironically to curb criminality. Either way, its inaction holds this administration equally liable with the perpetrators, being duty-bound to promote, protect and defend the rights of its citizens.

Culture of silence pervades in the city of Davao today. It is imposed by a seeming tyrannical rule that thrives on sowing fear in the guise of stability and peace. While it boasts of petty crimes to be at an all time low, summary execution is at an all time high making Davao the summary execution capital of the Philippines.

What is even more alarming is the seeming public acceptance of extra-judicial killings as a deterrent to criminal activity. Such misguided attitude has only created an environment of fear, a culture of violence, paranoia and helplessness. The belief that such actions are necessary to eradicate criminality has only resulted in a breakdown in the rule of law, loss of faith in the justice system and a seemingly wanton disregard for human rights. Such actions have paved the way for chaos instead of peace. Such actions curtail our basic freedoms and liberties

The occurrence in Davao is already happening in the entire country. Senseless killings of journalists surprise us from time to time. Human rights defenders are now targeted. The latest of which was Rashid Manahan, the Executive Director of the Community Resource Development Center (CRDC) and Coordinator of the Mamamayang Tutol sa Bitay – Movement for Restorative Justice-Davao (MTB-MRJ). Unless we denounce it today; until our government acts; we may find ourselves someday wallowing for not rectifying things now.

We thus call on the Department of Justice to conduct impartial investigation of this dastardly act in Davao and of those whose lives had been forfeited by summary killings. Let those responsible be given due process to face the consequences of their actions. We demand an immediate stop to extra-judicial executions not only in Davao but in all parts of the country. We urge the national government to intervene before the situation spirals out of control. Only in our accountability, sincerity and competency shall we unmask the faces behind this gruesome phenomenon and bring justice to all victims of summary killings.

Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
#53-B Maliksi Street, Brgy Pinyahan, QC
Tel: 632 436-2633


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