Cebuano group formed to monitor rights abuses
CEBU CITY–Fed up with the spate of killings, a group of Cebuanos, many of whom are lawyers, have formed a coalition to monitor and document all human rights abuses while repeatedly appealing to the government to take action and to protect its citizens.
The coalition named Cebu For Human Rights (C4HR) was formally launched on Tuesday in the presence of representatives from the academe, students, urban poor groups, the religious sector, and lawyers.
Human rights lawyer Democrito Barcenas, one of the C4HR’s convenors, said Filipinos must not remain mum amid all the killings and other abuses that take place under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We gather here in defense of human rights, the constitution, of due process, and our democracy. We must be informed. We cannot be silent anymore amid various forms of injustice and the bloodshed,” he said.
Although only about 60 people attended the launching of C4HR at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ social hall in Cebu City, Barcenas said many sectors were represented.
“This is just the start of the journey of a thousand miles. We call everybody to join us. Will we just wait for our loved ones to be killed before we do something? Let us stand up now and continue the crusade to defend human rights and our country,” he added.
Aside from Barcenas, the other convenors of C4HR were lawyers Lourdes Barcenas, Magdalena Lepiten, Myrfi Gonzalez, Vincent Isles, Jay Pujanes, and Fionah Bojos, as well as private individuals Bien Fernandez and Haley Atienza.
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