Posted: November 24, 2006
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Peace-loving Filipino women in Canada honor Alice Omengan Claver: Filipina Martyr


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Cordillera political activists targeted for liquidation! Condemn the killing spree of the GMA regime!

The National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC) extends its deepest condolences to Dr. Constancio “Chandu” Claver and their three children on the death of Bayan Muna and Cordillera Peoples Alliance member Alice Omengan Claver.

The NAPWC strongly condemns her brutal murder. Alice Claver, her husband, Dr. Constancio “Chandu” Claver, and their seven year-old daughter, Cassandra, were ambushed on July 31, 2006 in Bulanao, Tabuk, Philippines. The Claver family had just come from St. Tony’s College at around 6:45 AM on July 31 to send off their older daughters to school, when, upon taking a U-turn at the Bulanao Junction, two vans appeared from the sides of the highway and, with high powered rifles, assassins fired away at the vehicle which Dr. Claver was driving. Dr. Claver sustained multiple gunshot wounds while his wife Alice sustained four gunshot wounds in the head, neck, and shoulders. An innocent bystander, Janice Ewag, a 23 year-old student and part of the Tanudan tribe, also incurred two gunshot wounds to the hips.

Alice and her husband were both rushed to the Kalinga Provincial Hospital in Bulanao. Dr. Claver remains in critical condition. Their daughter survived the ambush but she is deeply traumatized by the incident and she is now in complete silence. Their two other daughters are left to grieve over this senseless attack. Alice struggled for life for five hours, suffering eight cardiac arrests, but was pronounced dead at around 12:30 PM.

Dr. Claver is the Chairperson of Bayan Muna-Kalinga, a progressive political partylist, the Vice- Chairperson of Cordillera Peoples Alliance-Kalinga, (CPA-Kalinga) a federation of progressive indigenous organizations in the Cordillera Region, and the Executive Director of the former Community Health and Education Concerns for Kalinga-Apayao. Alice was an active member of Cordillera student’s organizations, including CPA chapter in Manila while she was a college student. She had been very generous in her support to various people’s organizations and socio-civic institutions. She has also provided invaluable support to her husband and his work while at the same time, a devoted mother to their three children.

The fatal ambush on the Claver family comes at a time of intensifying political killings and attempted killings, disappearances, unjust arrests, tortures, summary executions, and gross human rights violations under Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her military counter-insurgency campaign Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Freedom Watch). The overwhelming majority of the victims of Oplan Bantay Laya are leaders and members of progressive community organizations, like the CPA, unions, human rights groups, and political parties, like Bayan Muna (People First) asserting national freedom, social justice, democracy, and lasting peace in the Philippines. Oplan Batay Laya has given license to use state violence against against the people, including women and children.

KARAPATAN, a national alliance of human rights organizations in the Philippines, have documented 717 political killings that have occurred since the start of Arroyo’s presidency. And, according to GABRIELA, a national alliance of women’s organizations in the Philippines, 78 were women of whom 42 were community activists. Most of the women were members of GABRIELA and its network organizations.

Despite dangerous conditions, harassment, and threats to Alice’s and her husband’s life, the couple remained steadfast in speaking out against instensifying militarization and human rights violations in their region. Despite the harassment, they remained resolute in upholding the indigenous peoples’ defense of ancestral domain and self-determination. Alice and Dr. Claver were not cowed after the assassination of another CPA leader, Markus Bangit, last June 8, 2006.

Alice committed her life to serving the people in the struggle for national and social liberation, democracy, and peace in the Philippines. Her example is a legacy that her family, friends, and fellow activists can be proud of. She will continue to inspire us as women, whether at home or abroad, to carry the forward the struggle toward a genuine and lasting peace in our homeland.

August 8, 2006

Statement issued by:

National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada –

Philippine Women Centre of BC
Philippine Women Centre of Manitoba
Philippine Women Centre of Ontario
Philippine Women Centre of Quebec
PINAY (Montreal)

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