Thursday, October 26, 2017

Nun wrote diary on drug killings

Philippine Daily Inquirer/OPINION/by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo

With residents of San Andres Bukid filing for a writ of amparo from the Supreme Court against the Philippine National Police to protect their community from more drug-related extrajudicial killings and deadly police operations, focus is now trained on that densely populated area in Manila. This move could become a template for similarly situated communities whose residents tremble when they hear the sound of gunfire in the dead of night.

Singled out in the petition is Manila Police District’s Station 6 which, the petitioners said, has turned that area of police jurisdiction into a “killing field.” The petitioners also sought the relief of those assigned to Station 6.
According to an Inquirer news report, this is the fifth petition filed in the Supreme Court questioning President Duterte’s war on drugs which has left at least 4,000 dead in police operations and thousands in so-called EJKs (“PNP faces class suit in SC over drug killings” by Marlon Ramos, 10/19/17).

Aiding the petitioners is the Center for International Law or Centerlaw. Some weeks ago, groups of human rights lawyers held a press conference to announce the filing and related moves to counter the endless killings.

Here is a text message from Sr. Nenet Dano, a Good Shepherd sister who works in San Andres Bukid and who has been supporting the community’s plea against the killings. She is among those behind the writ of amparo petition. “After the writ was filed, one lady tanod of Barangay 770 was asked to write a tokhang salaysay (statement on the killings) by MPD Station 6 to counter what she had written… Three petitioners were called by barangay chair Enales of 775 to ask if they want to withdraw. That resulted in pangamba (fears). I pacified them.

“My personal experience: Six barangay chairs forced me to talk with them last Saturday evening as they thought they were in the complaint even though they were not. I told them to read the petition thoroughly and if they cannot understand, to have it translated in Filipino…

“Over the phone the chair of 787 asked: What if Mayor Erap calls him and asks questions? Most of the heads are scared because they have no knowledge of the petition.”

While I was writing this column, I received this added information: “Victoria Factor (one of the petitioners) was also called by Barangay 770. She was in panic as the barangay head told her to get a lawyer so she could reverse her statement. She calmed down after our lawyers assured her [that there was no cause for worry].”

I have in my possession this nun’s diary on the drug killings which she began writing several months ago. Here are excerpts:

“When the second killings happened on July 28, 2016, which involved three young men, I asked: ‘Is killing the only solution to solve the problem of illegal drugs?’ I was very disturbed and restless. Something should be done, I thought, and I should do something as a personal advocacy.”

As months passed, the body count increased. Sister Nenet provides a list of names, ages, dates when killed (for lack of space, I did not include the action taken):

Edwin D. Eduardo, 47, 7/7/17; Ernesto Martinez Cruz, 49, 6/21/17; Ramon Rodriguez, 55, 6/10/17; SPO Dennis Padpad, 47, 5/29/17; Reynaldo T. Javier, 35, 5/25/17; Ryan Dimacali, 31, 5/6/17; Bimbo Merced, 37, 1/25/17; Joshua Merced, 22, 1/25/17; Leo Merced, 25, 1/25/17; Eduardo M. Gores, 29, 1/18/17; Ramil Gallo 22, 1/4/17; Randy Concordia 34, 12/15/17; Jay R. Estreller, 30, 12/15/17; Emiliano Blanco, 36, 11/30/16; Joseph Baculi, 32, no date; Gilbert Beguelme, 31, 11/9/16; Alvin Mnedoza, 23, 10/11/16; Ryan Eder, 28, 7/28/16; Willy de Leon, 42, 9/30/16; Jomar Manaois, 20, 7/18/16; Jefferson Bonoan 20, 7/18/16; Mark Anthony Bonoan, 18, 7/18/16; Conrado Berona (the very first one to die, not fully documented) 7/05/16; Manuel Roy Manalac, John Paul Martinez, Rollyn C. Frias, a certain Patricia, Jerson Colaba, Josing Colaban (all six cases not fully documented).

The nun’s diary is long and covers more than one year; the list of the dead covers July 2016-July 2017. Total number of recorded drug kills in that neck of San Andres Bukid: 29.