Friday, November 07, 2008

Is the Philippines ready to CHANGE for the better?

What would you do when a group of men......
  • dressed in civilian clothes (some were even in shorts and slippers / flipflops)
  • driving unmarked and very dark, tinted vehicles
  • packed with enough guns and machine guns heavy enough to fight a war in Iraq
.... suddenly surrounds your car, and without any vocal or visual warning, bullets start to shoot into the car that you happen to be seating in the back of?

Everything happens so fast that you have no time to cry for reason. The fear is so great that you bring your body into a ball and force yourself to fit on the floor of the tight backseat. The thought that this could be your last day on earth becomes real, but you have no idea why. You have no idea what caused this, but you have no time to wonder why. You have no time to wonder if your friends on the driver's seat and the front seat are still alive. You have no time to wonder who in the world is shooting at you -- is it the gangster of car napper (car thieves)?

As you fight to grasp for your last breath, the gun-toting men approach your car. Do you hope or do you dread? Is this a mistake or a calculated attack? Your body has so many bullet wounds already. What's going to happen next?

There is nothing you can do, because the attacker is a group within the Philippine Police called the TMG. They are untouchable, and they are prepared to create a cover ups for this type of activity. They are the police, afterall. And this is Philippines, afterall.

Worse, no matter how much you survive the bullet wounds from the initial round of fires, you will still die... because the TMG will make sure of it by shooting one last shot pointed to your head, at arm's length.

And when you and your friends are confirmed to be dead, TMG goes on their auto-pilot cover-up mode. That involves:
  • planting stolen car license plates and stolen guns in your car
  • making phone calls to the media ASAP to cover what really happened as a heroic shootout between cops and robbers. this is where their true acting skills come to play -- when they give that poker face lie as they announce to the entire country that you're a criminal.
  • threatening and following up on threats to those who speak up with the truth of what really happened.
Unfortunately for the people of the Philippines, this is not a unique situation. It's not the one-of-a-kind injustice done once by TMG. Unfortunately, this is a reality of what can happen to you or someone you know in the Philippines in today's time.

On the evening of Nov 7, 2005, this happened to my classmate, FX Manzano. This time, the entire event was filmed, unknowingly to the police. This time, we, the people, have proof that this inhumane act is an injustice done by the government appointed police to it's own countrymen. This time, we, the people, have the power of the Internet to announce the truth, to spread the the truth, and to support each other in our cry for justice in cases like FX's and the many other victims in similar cases.

It's now 3 years since this all happened. The Philippine Human Rights group promised the people that justice will be served. Does it really take over 3 years for the Philippine Human Rights to deal with this?! Is this what the rest of us should expect in protecting our own human rights? To the Human Rights Group, I ask you to give the family of FX Manzano and the rest of us hope that Philippines gives justice to human rights.


By the way, in case you need to be reminded, here are the name of those 10 TMG corrupt officers who killed FX, Anton and Brian:

- Henry Cerdon ("suspected" murderer)
- Hansel Marantan ("suspected" murderer)
- Samson Belmonte ("suspected" murderer - Received a medal of honor for shooting himself in the car with a ricochet bullet; but told the news reporters that he was shot by a gun that came from the victim's car. Wikipedia calls him a "liar.")
- Lloyd Soria ("suspected" murderer)
- Rizalito Ramos ("suspected" murderer)
- Dexter Bernadas ("suspected" murderer)
- Jesus Fermin ("suspected" murderer)
- Sonny Robrigado ("suspected" murderer)
- Fernando Gapuz ("suspected" murderer)
- Josel Rey Lucena ("suspected" murderer)