Human rights and children's groups alarmed at teenager killings
MANILA, Philippines – Human rights activists, children's rights organizations, national minorities, and youth groups staged a protest along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City on Friday, September 8, to cry for justice for the consecutive killings of young people all around the country.
17-year-old Kian delos Santos, 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, and 14-year-old Reynaldo Santos were recent additions to the list of victims of the drug war. (READ: LIST: Minors, college students killed in Duterte's drug war)
Meanwhile, Grade 6 Lumad student Obillo Bay-ao was allegedly killed by a paramilitary force in Davao del Norte on Tuesday, September 5. (READ: Grade 6 Lumad student killed in Davao del Norte)
The said groups condemned the deaths of the people they called "the future of this nation."
After the program, the protesters burned an image of President Rodrigo Duterte as a gesture against the rampant killings.
"All 3 died before they reached 20 years old. And all 3 were killed by state forces," said Moro and Indigenous Peoples (IP) group SANDUGO in a statement.
"We call the people to raise their voices and unite against the fascist and violent programs," they added. (IN PHOTOS: Lumad rally vs killings in Mindanao)
Nikki Aserios of SALINLAHI Alliance for Children's Concerns expressed her fear for minors as the victims of the killings become younger and younger.
According to her, vthe iolence has to stop and due process must be upheld.
Their group fights for the human rights of children. One of their advocacies is fighting the call to lower the criminal liability in the country.
"One of the services we provide is psychosocial intervention to the kids who suffer trauma, especially the Lumad children," she said in Filipino.
Aserios said that the manifestations of trauma to these children are very much evident as seen in their abnormal sleeping patterns.
They said justice doesn't fall from heaven. Instead, it is something to be fought for. – Rappler.com