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Philippine News Digest 15

February 21, 2002 · 

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Contents:

  • Sex slave fund to end
  • Activists urge cleanup of former US bases
  • Senator pushes for special cell for “underaged 12” on death row
  • 162 inmates go on hunger strike
  • 3 kids die in Cotabato grenade explosion
  • Japan sex slave: Gang-raped at 14, dead at 74

Sex slave fund to end

The Asian Women’s Fund, a private fund supported by the Japanese government from which payments to Asian women forced to serve as former sex slaves are coming, is to end this May. The fund was established in July 1995 with money from private groups with the support of the Japanese government. Source: AFP, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 February 2002.

Activists urge cleanup of former US bases

The People’s Task Force for Bases Cleanup challenged the government to demand the US to clean up its former bases and to compensate hundreds of persons who contracted serious illness as a result of their exposure to toxic wastes. The task force reminded their counterparts in Mindanao of the dangers posed by the ongoing Balikatan 02-1 to both humans and the environment. Source: Jimmy Perez, Today, 21 February 2002.

Senator pushes for special cell for “underaged 12” on death row

Senate Majority Leader Loren Legarda wants the Bureau of Corrections to put in an exclusive cell the 12 minors on death row waiting for the outcome of the Supreme Court review of their cases. Most of the minors committed their crimes allegedly while they were between 15 to 17 years old. They either failed to produce birth certificates during the trial, or the trial judges concerned did not compel prosecutors to verify their ages. Source: Today, 19 February 2002.

162 inmates go on hunger strike

162 inmates of the Pampanga Provincial Jail staged a hunger strike February 5 to protest inadequate, and at times, rotten food served them by jail administrators. It was the first indignation rally held inside the 200 year-old Spanish mansion-turned-jail. Each inmate is allotted only P10 per meal instead of the P30 worth of daily food budget, it was learned. The provincial warden explained that the complaint was valid since there had never been an increase in the food budget in the last 15 years. Source: Tonette Orejas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 6 February 2002.

3 kids die in Cotabato grenade explosion

Three children were killed while five others were hurt when the rifle grenade they were playing with went off in Cotabato last February 2. Police identified the victims as Noel Ramos, 14; Harris Selgas, 10; Jerson Aboabo, 11. Wounded were John Ray Aboabo, 12; Kevin Aboabo, 6; Jay Mark Alem, 9; Gerry Monar, 7; and Dennis Ganag, 10. Source: Edwin Fernandez, PDI Mindanao Bureau, 5 February 2002.

Japan sex slave: Gang-raped at 14, dead at 74

Pacita Suclan Santillan, 74, died last January 20 and was buried February 4 in Pandan, Antique with no relief from her bitter past. She was one of 174 Filipino women who came out to tell how the Japanese Imperial Army used them as sex slaves during World War II. At least 46 Filipino comfort women filed a case to the Japanese government and Santillan was among those who testified before the Tokyo District Court in September 1997. In her testimony, she said she was 14 years old when Japanese soldiers came to her hometown and captured and raped her. She also saw the brutal murder of her mother and siblings at the hands of the same soldiers. Other survivors mourned Santillan’s death. They lighted candles, offered a wreath and left a gravestone in front of the Japanese embassy. Source: Christine Herrera. Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5 February 2002.

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