We will not forget Alyce Omengan-Claver
We shall not forget July 31, 2006.
It was the day when death squads operating under the State policy
Operational Plan Bantay Laya (Freedom Watch) staged an ambush against
Dr. Constancio 'Chandu' Claver's family.
The ambush happened in a busy section of Tabuk - in front of a
school, and around 200 meters away from the Provincial Headquarters
of the Philippine National Police. Dr. Claver, Chairperson of Bayan
Muna Kalinga was the main target of the ambush. He has been very
vocal about the assassination of Cordillera Peoples Alliance leader
Rafael Markus Bangit on June 8, 2006 and the killings in the province
despite the threats and fear being sown by government forces in
Alyce Omengan-Claver was also a member of Bayan Muna-Kalinga and
the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. She devoted her youth in service
to the people as a staff of CPA-Manila. She and Chandu shared the
She died that day. Despite her personal struggle to survive the
26 gun shot wounds. Despite the long line of blood donors whose
lives the Clavers have touched.
The assassination happened barely a week after Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
condemned the extrajudicial killings in the country but ironically
praised Major General Jovito Palparan who has a bloody record of
human rights violations against the people.
Then Tabuk Police Director Pedro Ramos, pinpointed as instrumental
to the Claver ambush, was a follower of Palparan's style of confronting
people whom the State calls "the enemy" or those critical
against the government's anti-people policies. He formed and led
the death squads in Tabuk. He also figured in the killing of Rafael
After the ambush, PD Ramos was transferred out of Kalinga to appease
the mounting public pressure. But no progress has yet been achieved
in the investigation of the case. No perpetrator has yet been punished.
This was despite the formation of two task forces: first Task Force
Bulanao then another Task Force headed by General Eugene Martin.
A case has been filed in court but witnesses to the incident have
been threatened and the defective witness protection program of
the justice system has pushed them to retract their sworn statements.
Justice has been elusive.
Alyce's case has been forwarded to the United Nations during the
visit of UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston. Her story was heard
during the Permanent People's Tribunal where Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
was declared guilty.
We shall not forget Alyce Omengan-Claver.
She, who was a loving person to her family.
She, who was part of the people's struggle for a just and humane
A year has passed since her death. Victims of extrajudicial killings
have reached 884 as of June 30, 2007.
In her State of the nation Address this year, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
again condemns the killings which she can no longer deny. It should
be underscored that she has failed to admit that it is a State policy
and that she is accountable for the killings.
In the most significant way of remembering Alyce, we continue the
struggle to attain justice for her death and the more than 800 other
We continue to rage against the extrajudicial killings and other
human rights violations.
Inspired by her memory, we continue the struggle for a just social
JUSTICE FOR ALYCE CLAVER!
JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS!