Family, friends and collegues slam 9 years of injustice in Eden and Eddie slay case

April 20, 2012 – Human rights group Karapatan-Southern Tagalog and regional peasant organization Kasama-Timog Katagalugan staged a rally today at the Department of Justice and Mendiola bridge to commemorate the ninth death anniversary of their slain comrades, Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy.

Joined by Eden’s husband, Orly Marcellana and their two children, the protestors slammed the government for the continuing lack of justice despite a United Nations Human Rights Council ruling in 2008 that found retired Army general Jovito Palparan and former president Gloria Arroyo guilty of the killings.

On April 21, 2003, Eden Marcellana, secretary general of Karaptan-ST, and Eddie Gumanoy, Kasama-TK chairperson, were abducted by suspected military elements under the command of Palparan in Mindoro Oriental. Their bodies, bearing signs of brutal torture, were found the next day at a shallow ditch near the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Nautical Highway in Bansud, Mindoro Oriental.

Eden and Eddie were staunch critics of Palparan as well as the government’s counter insurgency program which they believed has only caused grave human rights violations.

On the day when their bodies were found, Eden was set to testify before the commission of appointments to protest Palparan’s impending promotion as Army general.

During the rally earlier, the protestors also denounced the fact that Palparan is still at large despite an existing warrant for his arrest on his involvement in the disappearance of two student activists in 2006.

Representatives of Karapatan-ST and Kasama-TK held a dialogue with Justice undersecretary Francisco Baraan III to ask the department to reopen the case. Baraan III said they are not familiar with the case and asked the group to wait for a week for them to check on it. However,  Marcellana was skeptical saying “nakakapag-ngitngit dahil and ganyang mga sagot ay matagal na naming naririnig” (“we are infuriated because we’ve been hearing these kinds of answers ever since”). He added that the past administration have dismissed the case several times despite numerous investigations held by government, non-government, local and foreign institutions.

Marcellana called on his comrades to continue the fight for justice.

Photos by: Thrianne Gellido

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