Because the Power of the Youth Don’t Stop!!!

There have been numerous articles and statements written about the extra-judicial killings that have occurred in the Philippines since 2001 under the regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Philippine-based human rights organization, Karapatan, has been at the forefront of documenting these crimes. But the investigations don’t come without roadblocks, especially from those who are the perpetrators of the abuses. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are supposed to protect the people from threats foreign and domestic, but several organizations have stated that they do the exact opposite. Human Rights Watch has issued reports (“Scared Silent” & “Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines” to name a couple) on the human rights situation and directs blame towards elements of the AFP. The PNP allows these acts to continue because of their lack of action and prosecution of the killers. UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston stated in his report that: “The AFP remains in a state of almost total denial”.

With all that said, it is important to remember those who came before us. During these past eight years, three members of LFS in the Philippines have been killed and one more kidnapped and still missing. We seek to remember them and their work. Though we are the only LFS chapter in the U.S., there is a special bond we have with the LFS chapters in the Philippines. Our conditions are different, but the reasons why we joined are similar. We struggle with being a student and organizer, balancing the work with our daily lives, connecting with our peers who seem to have the big picture no where within their vision. While we are thousands of miles apart, we are all members of the LFS, all youth and students, all apart of the National Democratic movement, all fighting for true liberation for all oppressed people around the world. We will continue to fight for peoples’ basic right to change their oppressive conditions.

L-F-L-F-S TUNAY PALABAN MAKABAYAN!

Cris Hugo

-20 years old
-A native of San Julian, Irosin, Sorsogon, Philippines
-Regional Coordinator & National Council member of LFS (Bicol University, College of Arts & Letters)
-4th year Journalism student
-Newly elected Grand Chancellor of the Alpha Phi Omega Chapter at BU
-Killed on March 19, 2006 from multiple gunshots by masked gunmen on motorcycles while walking with a professor from BU

Resources:

“A Small Guy with a Big Conviction”
“LFS-SFSU: Mabuhay si Cris Hugo at ang Kilusang Kabataan”
“Youth Leader Killed in Albay”

Rei Mon “Ambo” Guran

-21 years old
-A native of Bulan, Sorsogon, Philippines
-Spokesperson, Regional Coordinator, & National Council member of LFS (Aquinas University in Legazpi City, Albay)
-2nd year Political Science student
-Active member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines’ Christian Youth Fellowship
-Elected member of student council
-Celebrated his birthday with family and friends the day before his murder
-Killed on July 31, 2006 from multiple gunshots by an unidentified gunman while on a bus going back to Legazpi City

Resources

“Youth Under Siege”
“Scared Silent: Ka Ambo”
“Ateneo Statement on the Assassination of Rei Mon ‘Ambo’ Guran of Aquinas University of Legazpi”

Farly Alcantara II

-22 years old
-A native of Mercedes, Daet, Camarines Norte, Philippines
-A member and former spokesperson of LFS (Camarines Norte State College in Daet)
-Graduating senior in Business Administration (Economics), candidate for cum laude
-President of the CNSC Business Administration and Economics Society and Vice-President of the Grand Student Council
-Killed on February 16, 2007 from multiple gunshots from an unidentified gunman while riding a motorcycle with a professor

Resources:

“Farly Alcantara”: Arkibong Bayan
AHRC: “Student leader extra-judicially murdered in Daet
“Youth and Student Leader Shot and Killed on Valentines Day”
“Student Activist Slain In Camarines

Karen Empeño

-22 years old (at the time of her abduction)
-A native of Masinloc, Zambales, Philippines
-A member of LFS (University of the Philippines)
-Graduating senior in Sociology at the UP College of Social Sciences
-Abducted on June 26, 2006 at approximately 2 a.m. with Anakbayan member, Sherlyn Cadapan, in Barangay San Miguel, Hagonoy, Bulacan by armed, unidentified men
-At the time of the abduction, was doing research on the plight of farmers in Bulacan for her thesis, her last requirement for graduation
-Still missing despite numerous appeals by her family, international human rights bodies and agencies, organizations, and orders from the Court of Appeals and Philippine Supreme Court for the military to produce Empeño and Cadapan

Resources:

Families of 2 missing UP students air appeal
AFP should release Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeño, and Manuel Merino
2 Missing UP Students Tortured, Raped Inside Military Camp
On the 2nd year of Karen and Sherlyn’s Abduction: Search for Justice Continues

We will not forget Cris, Ambo, Farly, Karen, and all other victims of human rights violations, past and present, so we can prevent them in the future!

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