LOS ANGELES — Sixty people participated in a spirited demonstration outside the Philippines Consulate here March 13, protesting the government’s cold-blooded killings of nine political and labor activists six days earlier.
Actions took place elsewhere, including 50 people demonstrating at the consulate in New York March 15.
The raids occurred just two days after the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, ordered security forces to “kill” and “finish off” the “communist rebels.”
Security officials told the press they could confirm the deaths, saying the raids were carried out by the military and the Philippine National Police. The coordinated attacks took place in Cavide, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal provinces, all on Luzon Island near Manila.
Two of the nine were slain as their 10-year-old son hid under his bed, the rights group Karapatan reported. Those “executed” included a leader of a group that works on behalf of Filipino fishermen. Six other political activists were arrested, including a paralegal who works for Karapatan.
Phil Robertson, deputy director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, said, “This campaign no longer distinguishes between armed rebels and noncombatant activists, union leaders and advocates.”
Signs and banners at the mostly young protests in Los Angeles and New York read, “Stop the killings! Stop the attacks!” and “Junk the anti-terror law.” Some carried placards with the names of those killed March 7.