PINAS FIRST urge President Aquino to work toward

genuine prosperity, justice and peace.

In its letter to President Aquino, Pinoy in Austrian Society For Integrity, Reforms and Social Transformation (PINAS FIRST) based in Vienna, Austria decry the brutal killing of 27-year old fisherman Jerwin de Antonio on April 21, 2011.

The eldest child in his family, Jerwin was imbued with a great sense of responsibility and did his best as breadwinner. He realized that improving the lot of his family and fellow urban poor over the long term entails advancing the cause of national democracy. As a member of Anakbayan, Jerwin advocated the rights and welfare of the youth and other disadvantaged sectors of society.

 

Jerwin de Antonio’s murder is the latest in a string of barbaric acts which the PNP has perpetuated against the urban poor of Metro Manila. Last May 9, a 13-year old ‘scavenger’ was shot and killed by members of the Makati PNP.

PINAS FIRST is outraged that a year after President Aquino assumed office with a welcome promise of change, human rights defenders continue to be labeled and targeted as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”

Harassment, abductions, illegal arrests, trumped-up charges, torture and other forms of human rights violations continue unabated. The human rights watchdog KARAPATAN has documented more than 40 cases of extrajudicial killings since June 2010.

PINAS FIRST share the commitment of Jerwin de Antonio and other human rights victims to advancing freedom and fairness and  demand that Aquino government:

- form an independent fact-finding and investigation team carry out immediate, impartial and thorough investigation into these cases, with a view to publishing the findings and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards.

- stop the vilification of individuals and organizations committed to freedom and democracy.

- end all demolition operations against the urban poor across the nation.

- withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innnocent and unarmed civilians.

- live up to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to all the major Human Rights instruments of which it is a signatory.

And finally, PINAS FIRST stressed:  there is no denying that President Aquino has blood in its hands -- and urge him to change course and work with and for the Filipino people toward genuine prosperity, justice and peace.###