CEGP Press Statement
April 09, 2012
If this is how they “serve and protect” the people, we might as well not receive this service and protection from the military.
A 16-year old girl from Mankayan, Benguet was reported to be raped by a certain Danilo Lalin of Highlander 86 of the 50th Infantry Battalion last February, hindering her from attending in her graduation. Medical documents reports that the girl had hymenal and periannal laceration, indicating the possibility that not just one person raped her.
The College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet condemns this case of violations of women’s rights, ironically perpetrated by elements of the military who are supposed to uphold these rights. It is no secret that the Cordillera region is widely open for military occupation which is permitted by the Aquino administration under the guise of civil activities and community outreach. However, we know that this does not square with the actual events. The pervading presence of the military usually leads to cases of harassments, surveillance and other violations of human rights of the community members. This rape case is only a recent evidence of the filthy effect of rampant militarization of the communities in the region.
As the Aquino administration is further conniving with its American master, with the expected deployment of more US troops in some parts of the country, we must remain vigilant and critical. While both governments keep saying that these actions would serve the interests of both countries, we must always question at whose disposal these interests will be achieved. What our past experiences have shown is that the presence of the military in places where they ought not to be, like the communities, has only imperiled or harmed the civilians.
JUSTICE FOR THE MANKAYAN RAPE VICTIM!
STOP THE MILITARIZATION OF CORDILLERA COMMUNITIES!