The red and white ribbons tied to a tree in front of the Quezon City Hall of Justice made for a pretty sight, but what they carried was grim: the names of people killed, wounded or have disappeared in the course of human rights violations purportedly committed by the past administration.
The ribbons were left by representatives of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) after filing a lawsuit on Thursday against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.
The UCCP is asking Arroyo, now a representative of her home province of Pampanga, to pay at least P5 million for human-rights abuses allegedly committed against six leaders of the group during her administration.
The plaintiffs are Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, the UCCP secretary general, Pastor Berlin Guerrero, and the kin of the late Joel Baclao Jr., Rev. Edison Lapuz, Andy Pawican, Rev. Raul Domingo and Noel “Noli” Capulong.
The victims were killed in their respective provinces by supposed military operatives from 2004 to 2007.
Guerrero, a licentiate pastor of northeast Southern Tagalog, was the only plaintiff who could personally complain of abuse. He said he was illegally detained and tortured, also by the military, on May 27, 2007, in Laguna province.
Read more at Philippine Daily Inquirer