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Philippine News Digest 79

July 2, 2004 · 

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Contents:
-Death squad strikes anew

-Group to sue cops for failure to stop summary killing

-Indigenous kids suffer racism in schools

Death squad strikes anew

Unidentified gunmen, believed to be members of the Davao Death Squad, killed two men last Wednesday barely 12 hours after Mayor Rodrigo Duterte delivered his inaugural speech where he declared that criminals have no place in the city. First to be killed was Rodel Simbajon, 21, of Barangay Maa, who was shot thrice in the head in the presence of his pregnant wife and a young child. At midnight, two motorcycle-riding gunmen shot 22-year old Roberto Gawin after a brief chase. He is the 15th victim of the vigilante-style execution this year. Last May, four persons, including a 12-year old boy were killed by motor-cycle riding gun-men even as city police chief Conrado Laza stood firm on his earlier pronouncement that there was no death squads operating in the city. Last year, 90 people including several minors, were slain by the death squad. Source: Anthony Allada and Jeffrey Tupas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 1 and July 2, 2004.

Group to sue cops for failure to stop summary killing

The multi-sectoral group Coalition Against Summary Execution (CASE) said it would file before the National Police Commission administrative charges against regional police director Chief Supt. Isidro Lapena and city police chief city Conrado Laza for failing to stop summary killings in Davao City. Also to be included in the charge are several police station commanders. Party-list group Bayan Muna will also initiate an inquiry when Congress opens on July 1. Ariel Casilao, secretary-general of Karapatan and convenor of CASE said they have grown tired of police officials who accuse the public of non-cooperation. Source: Anthony Allada, PDI Mindanao Bureau, 2 June 30 2004.
Indigenous kids suffer racism in schools

Forty to fifty percent of indigenous children drop out of school before graduation because they fail to assimilate with their classmates due to racism in textbooks as well as the government teacher’s biases against “minorities,” according to an exploratory study commissioned by Tebtebba Foundation and conducted by University of the Philippines Professor Raymundo Rovillos. The trend is more peculiar in the Southern Philippines where indigenous peoples are segregated from mainstream communities. It also revealed that language is key to integrating indigenous children into mainstream society but formal education discourages indigenous school children from using their culture, their languages and their customs in accessing rudimentary lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic. Source: Vincent Cabreza in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 9 June 2004.

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