Rights group and relatives of victims of human rights violations join Ayala rally to call for justice for mall bombing victims

The human rights group Karapatan and relatives of victims of human rights violations today joined the relatives of victims of the Glorietta 2 blast in arally at the Ninoy Aquino monument in Ayala Avenue, Makati, to express solidarity with them.

Karapatan, Hustisya and Desaparecidos called for an independent investigation of the mall bombing and prosecution of perpetrators as they continue to seek justice for other victims of human rights violations.

Karapatan Public Information Officer Ruth Cervantes said, “We sincerely and wholeheartedly commiserate with the bereaved families of our eleven kababayans killed and the more than a hundred injured in the tragic bombing of the Glorietta 2 mall last friday.”

Hustisya Convener Evangeline Hernandez, whose 22-year old daughter Benjaline was killed by state security forces in North Cotabato in 2002, said “As we continue to demand justice for our loved ones who were victims of state violence, we likewise join the nation in seeking justice for the victims of the Glorietta 2 bombing.”

Desaparecidos’ Erlinda Cadapan whose daughter Sherlyn was abducted by soldiers last year said, “We hope there will be a thorough and independent investigation of the case that should lead to the arrest, trial and punishment of those responsible for the blast.”

Both Hernandez and Empeño warned against any whitewash and sloppy investigation work, which have been their sad experience with Mrs. Arroyo's police and military. “The police-led Task Force Usig, for example is, until now, trying to deceive the public by saying many of the cases of extrajudicial killings have been solved even though there is no conviction of killers and abductors,” Hernandez said.

The two mothers also said they hoped the government would provide all the Glorietta bombing victims with all the help they need but without strings attached.

Karapatan meanwhile said “We call on our countrymen and women to be vigilant against any diversionary tactics of the embattled Macapagal-Arroyo regime that has resorted to a dirty war to ensure its survival.”

“Let us together continue to fight for justice and demand state accountability for its failure to protect its citizens.”