NAFCON Demands Justice for “Silverio Compound Massacre” Victims
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 April 2012
Contact: Terry Valen
President, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, with our thirty member organizations, sends its warmest and deepest condolences to the families and victims of the “Silverio Compound Massacre” of April 23, 2012. We stand in solidarity with Filipinos worldwide in condemning the violent and bloody dispersal of residents and stall owners of the Silverio compound in Parañaque by the combined forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP), and paid goons and security agents of business tycoon, Henry Sy.
While defending their homes and livelihood from demolition, at least one resident (Arnel Leonor – 21 years old) was killed, more than 30 were illegally arrested, and at least 39 were severely injured as a result of the brutality and violence instigated by state and private business forces. Home to more than 28,000 residents, the Silverio Compound is planned to be demolished to give way to the establishment of condominiums for the Shoemart (SM) Development Corporation, owned none other than by the Philippines’ richest man and business tycoon, Henry Sy.
This is not the first time our kababayan in urban poor communities experienced such brutality, violence, and human rights violations. Earlier this year, in San Juan, Manila, more than 30 residents were hurt as they tried to protect their homes from 400 policemen threatening to demolish their homes. Many more urban poor are set to be displaced from their homes and stripped of their livelihood to pave way for President Aquino’s Public Private Partnership Program, which is designed to disproportionately favor foreign and big businesses, like that of Henry Sy.
The government’s lack of substantial pro-people and livelihood programs to provide decent domestic jobs contributes to the mass exodus of more than 4,500 Filipinos everyday to look for better opportunities abroad. Aquino only further implements the Labor Export Policy as a prolonged response to the worsening economic crisis and social unrest in the country. Despite dangerous working conditions and the lack of protection and support in distressful situations, the government continues to push Filipinos to work abroad in exchange for their dollar remittances that keep the Philippine economy afloat.
The struggle of the urban poor to keep their homes and find means to live is directly linked to the Filipino migrant’s struggle to live and work in the Philippines. The Aquino administration’s promise of a better economy and livelihood for its citizens has been far from fulfilled by its Public Private Partnership Program and the resulting inhumane dispersal and demolition of the Silverio compound in Parañaque that led to the deaths and injuries of our kababayan.
Time and time again, the Philippine government has inflicted the greatest violence upon its people, both through its armed police and state agents and its regressive programs. We must hold not only Henry Sy accountable, but also the Aquino government for its unrelenting support to big businesses instead of the majority of the Filipino people. Let us continue to be vigilant and expose Henry Sy’s inhumane acts and the Aquino administration’s culpability in these gross human rights violations.
NAFCON calls on the four million Filipinos in the U.S. and their families to support our demands for: 1) the immediate termination of the demolition of the Silverio Compound in Parañaque City; 2) a full investigation of this brutal and violent dispersal and demolition; 3) the prosecution of all those responsible; and 4) the boycott of Henry Sy’s Banco de Oro until justice for the residents of the Silverio Compound is served. “We should not remit our hard-earned money to fund and support businesses that kill people, destroy homes and violate human rights to housing and livelihood, all for the name of more profit,” says Terry Valen, NAFCON President. We shall further strengthen the Filipino im/migrant movement in the U.S. for our rights and welfare and for the betterment of our homeland, the Philippines.
Boycott Banco de Oro! Boykot Sy’s Berdugong Bangko!
Justice for the victims of the “Silverio Compound Massacre”!