Moro group condemns sexual violence against
a student of the University of Southern Mindanao,
calls for justice
Kabacan, North Cotabato
March 6, 2008
The Suara Bangsamoro (Voice of the Bangsamoro) denounced the case of sexual violence where the alleged perpetrator belongs to an influential family in Datu Montawal, Maguindanao.
On March 6, 7,000
students, faculty and staff of the University of Southern Mindanao and
concern individuals wore black t-shirts and red wristbands and joined the
USG-led indignation march-rally. They demanded that the Kabacan local
government and RTC Fiscal Samuel Fajardo act with dispatch in seeking
justice to a student-victim of sexual violence..
|Photos courtesy of Suara Bangsamoro (Voice of the Bangsamoro)|
Moro group condemns rape of USM student;
COTABATO CITY – The Suara Bangsamoro (Voice of the Bangsamoro) here denounce the recent case of sexual violence in Kabacan town of North Cotabato where the alleged perpetrator belongs to an influential family in Datu Montawal, Maguindanao.
According to board mates, 'Angeline' (not her real name), a 17-year old Human Ecology and Food Sciences student in the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), was abducted at their boarding house around 6 in the evening of February 25 by a certain Bianca Montawal Paglas and two male companions.
At 11:00 P.M., Angeline came back with bloodstains on her body which prompted her friends to call the latter's father.
In her affidavit, Angeline narrated that she was brought to Pareng Bong's Lodging House and there, she was raped by Datu Andy Montawal.
Angeline's father along with board mates went immediately to the nearest police station and filed complaint against Montawal and his alleged accomplices.
Bai Ali Indayla, national secretary-general of Suara Bangsamoro, said that they have received reports of numerous rape cases and harassments inside the USM campus but 'only now, a victim courageously speaks out and file a legal case against the well-known perpetrator.'
"We received information that there are plenty of rape incidents inside USM. There are also reports that some are killed after being raped and some are paid with huge amount just to silence the victims. All these reports point to one and the same perpetrator, but no one dares to speak," Indayla expressed.
Together with Indayla's group, various organizations including Gabriela Women’s Party, North Cotabato 1st District Representative Emmylou Santos-Mendoza, lawyers and other individuals have already expressed support to Angeline and her family to get justice and bring the perpetrators to cell.
On March 5, a candle-lighting for justice was held in USM spearheaded by the College of Human Ecology and Food Sciences (CHEFS) local student government and was supported by Kabacan Mayor George Tan and councilors, CHEFS Dean Aleha Plasa Salik, USM Director of Students Affairs Nicolas Turnos, University Student Government (USG) president Junmar Bañas, CHEFS governor Ralph Ryan Rafael and faculty and staff of all Colleges and Institutes of the University.
On March 6, around 7,000 USM students, faculty and staff and concern individuals wore black t-shirts and red wristbands and joined the USG-led indignation march-rally to lobby with the local government unit of Kabacan and calling Regional Trial Court Fiscal Samuel Fajardo to expedite Angeline's case to immediately put the perpetrators to jail.
The group also demands for the closure of Pareng Bong's Lodging House where Angeline was allegedly raped and for police visibility in the entire USM premise for the safety of the students.
Suara Bangsamoro challenges the USM administration, who has not released a condemnation statement since the incident was exposed, to speak out and seek justice for Angeline and other rape victims.
"We dare the administration of USM to stand for justice especially for their student. Angeline’s courage as well as the witnesses is commendable. We appreciated so much the bravery of Angeline's family to cope their daughter's ordeal and took legal action to search justice and prosecute the perpetrators. We appeal to all victims of sexual violence to speak out and fight. Silence will tolerate the horrible and devilish act of these perpetrators," Indayla said.
Suara Bangsamoro strongly condemns all form of violence against women and children and pledge continuous support until justice for Angeline and all victims of sexual abuses will be served. #
For reference: Bai Ali Indayla, Mobile # 0921.9064.699, Tel. # (064) 421-5680
Republic of the Philippines
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MINDANAO
UNIVERSITY STUDENT GOVERNMENT
On February 25, 2008 a student of this university who happens to be a minor has been mercilessly abused. This incident wounded our hearts and awakened our spirits for any of us do not deserve this kind of plight.
We affirm to what is just and recognize the necessity of advancing students' rights and welfare.
We condemn the act of violence and signify our unity in the cause of uplifting the morale of our fellow, whose rights have been annihilated by the evil to succeed, is for the good men to do nothing.
We want security to shield us as we go through the long undertaking of student life and peace to rest in the premises of our hearts.
We summon up the law and its execution to protect us, the citizens and the primary stakeholders of the community.
We demand justice for our fellow. We demand justice for all of us.
We demand justice to maneuver and manifest at the most appropriate time-NOW.
MR. JUNMAR BAÑAS
University Student Government
|Lighting candles for justice|
March 5. A candle-lighting for justice was held at the University of Southern Mindanao spearheaded by the College of Human Ecology and Food Sciences (CHEFS) local student government and supported by Kabacan Mayor George Tan and councilors, CHEFS Dean Aleha Plasa Salik, USM Director of Students Affairs Nicolas Turnos, University Student Government (USG) president Junmar Bañas, CHEFS governor Ralph Ryan Rafael and faculty and staff of all Colleges and Institutes of the University.
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