MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima hit President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war once again as the world observed the feast of “Niños Inocentes” or the Feast of the Holy Innocents on Thursday, December 28.
In a note written from her jail cell in the Philippine National Police headquarters, Camp Crame, De Lima likened the drug war killings to the order of King Herod to kill newborn children in a bid to stop the birth of Jesus Christ, commemorated during Niños Inocentes.
“Sa nakalipas na isa’t kalahating taon, naging pamilyar ang ganitong malagim na pangyayari sa ating bansa sa ilalim ng pamamahala ng rehimeng Duterte. Sa madugong kampanya laban sa droga, inudyukan at patuloy pa ring inuudyukan ng gobyernong ito ang laganap na patayan kung saan napakarami nang inosente, kabilang ang mga bata, ang pinaslang,” said De Lima, who is in jail over multiple drug charges.
(In the past one and a half years, we have become familiar with this kind of grim event in our country under the Duterte regime. In the bloody war against drugs, the government continues to promote widespread killings, wherein so many innocents, including children, have been killed.)
Duterte’s fiercest critic then cited the names of several minors who were killed due to the bloody war on drugs, which has lead to at least 3,993 deaths of drug suspects in legitimate police operations. (READ: This is where they do not die)
(In the past year, 7-year old Saniño Butucan, 5-year olds Danica May Garcia and Francisco Manosca, and 4 year old Althea Fhem Barbon were no longer able to celebrate Christmas.)
“At dahil hindi pa rin ipinahinto ng rehimeng Duterte ang patayan sa harap ng kabi-kabilang panawagan na itigil na ito, pagluluksa ang hatid ng Pasko ngayong taon sa pamilya ng 14-taong gulang na si Reynaldo de Guzman, 15-taong gulang na si Charlie Jean Du at ng batang nasa kanyang sinapupunan, 17-taong gulang na si Kian Loyd delos Santos, at 19-taong gulang na si Carl Arnaiz,” she added.
(And because the Duterte regime did not stop the killings despite calls to do so, Christmas brought forth mourning to the families of 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, 15-year-old Charlie Jean Du and the child in her womb, 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, and 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz.)
De Lima said the government treats the death of the young Filipinos as merely “collateral damage” of the anti-drug campaign.
“Mga itinuring ng gobyernong ito bilang ‘collateral damage’ ng war on drugs. Silang mga pinaslang nang walang kalaban-laban. Silang pinagkaitang matupad ang pangarap para sa sarili at pamilya. Mga bata. Mga Niños Inocentes,” she said.
(The government treats them as ‘collateral damage’ in the war on drugs. These people who couldn’t fight back. These people who were denied the chance to reach their dreams and that of their families. Children. Innocent children.)
De Lima urged the public to pray so justice will be served to the young victims of the drug war and and that the loved ones they left behind be healed emotionally.
“Sa modernong panahong ito, ang mga walang muwang na bata ang nadadamay at pinaka-biktima ng kaguluhan bunsod ng galit, diskriminasyon at kasamaan. Sa musmos nilang kaisipan, nakararanas na sila ng pangungulila, pagkalito at kawalang pag-asa,” said De Lima.
(In this modern age, innocent children are victimized by violence caused by anger, discrimination, and evil. At their young age, they already experience bereavement, confusion, and loss of hope.)
“Tungkulin natin, bilang mga mamamayang nagsasalo sa iisang mundo, na ipagtanggol at itaguyod ang kanilang karapatan para sa isang maaliwalas na bukas para sa lahat lalo na sa kanilang mga bata,” she added.
(It is our responsibility, as citizens of the world, to defend and uphold their rights so all children will have a better future). – Rappler.com