We are the peoples in Mindanao who aspire for a peaceful and progressive homeland. We lived and struggled to chart a future where we can be free from fear and want. We have longed for a system of governance that nurtures our identity and corrects the injustice that have ridden our tortuous past.
Today, Balay marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture with deep sadness and anger. We join those who mourn and denounce the death of Genesis Argoncillo, 22, and call on authorities to hold accountable those who allowed his death to happen.
Balay expressed dismay over the arrest of thousands of civilians following the order of President Duterte of a crackdown against “tambays” or nighttime idlers in streets whom he considers as “potential trouble for the public” last June 13. The intensified police operations have resulted to 7,290 arrests in Metro Manila and the suspected death due to torture of a detainee in a police lock up jail in Quezon City, a week after the chief executive issued the directive to police officers.