Press Release
April 30, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1063:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Killing of Froilan Oaferina III, another case of "nanlaban" daw


May nanlaban na naman daw sa Camarines Sur.

The year started with the summary killing of human rights advocate Aldren Enriquez, the brother of my nephew's former yaya, in my home city, Iriga. Nanlaban daw.

Last Sunday, April 25, Froilan Oaferina III, a village councilor in Buhi, the town next to Iriga, died in an alleged gunfight with police operatives serving a search warrant. Nanlaban na naman. Paulit-ulit na lang. But Oaferina's kin tells of an entirely different story: that of their loved one begging for his life. Ibang-iba ang bersyon ng mga pulis ngunit pareho sa kuwento ng mga pamilya ng libo-libong biktima ng EJKs.

State-sponsored killings seem to have intensified amid a deadly pandemic. I laud the swift action of the Commission on Human Rights to investigate this latest case of "nanlaban" in my province, specifically in Rinconada. Kailangan ng agaran at masusing imbestigasyon sa mga ganitong mga pangyayari upang panagutin ang sinumang umabuso at may sala. Lalo na sa panahon na lumalaki ang pagkadismaya ng tao at nalalantad ang kapalpakan ng rehimeng ito.

Way before the pandemic, the Duterte regime has been putting the blame for the nation's ills on the "pasaways"- drug suspects, activists, critics - eternal enemies of his peace and order campaign. Thus, his murderous crusade to get rid of them. And the overused defense? Nanlaban.

With the growing discontent on how the government is handling the crisis, we may not be seeing an end to these atrocities soon. The only way to put an end to this bloodbath is to continue rejecting this vicious State narrative and resist the State's policy of killing people because they are "pasaway." Continue to demand for accountability. Until the death toll stops and the perpetrators are brought to justice.

For this desperate regime, if you die from COVID, pasaway ka. If you are killed by State forces, pasaway ka pa rin, nanlaban ka kasi. Nasaan ang hustisya?

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 1063 here:

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