HAPI’s Official Statement on Police Brutality in Tarlac
On December 20, a video surfaced on Facebook that of Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca who shot and killed 25-year old Frank Gregorio and his 52-year old mother Sonya Gregorio in broad daylight after a heated argument with regards to the use of a ‘boga’ (a PVC cannon) on top of a long-running land dispute in Paniqui, Tarlac.
We, the Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI), join the outrage over the recent killings and condemn in the strongest possible terms the increasing cases of police violence in the country. The incident has also drawn attention to a remarkable lack of knowledge about a seemingly basic fact: how many more Filipinos were brutally killed by police officers that were not caught on camera.
The murder of the mother and son in Tarlac is just one of the many cases of police brutality in the Philippines and is simply not an isolated case as claimed by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año. There is an alarming culture of violence and impunity.
As an organization that continues to advocate for human rights and the freedom of the Filipino people, we demand the following actions:
1. Tackling impunity for human rights violations cannot be achieved unless the Philippine law enforcement authorities are reformed and transformed into real tools where they serve and protect the Filipino.
2. Police officers who have been terminated due to police misconduct or convicted of human rights violations should not be able to work in law enforcement again.
3. We urge the Philippine government to implement without delays these reforms, sustain and respect the values and principles of democracy and human rights.
We, activists and a humanist organization will keep supporting the civil rights movement of Filipino people while committing that we will also fight to root out injustices and be the voice of the marginalized.