The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has denounced the “growing culture of impunity and violence in our society” which victimizes even youth leaders “who play vital role in nation-building.”
It asked law enforcement agencies to track down, arrest, and file charges against the killers of Renzo “Eseng” Matienzo, the 26-year-old president of the Federation of Sangguniang Kabataan in Lumban, Laguna, who was brutally killed inside his house in the presence of his pregnant wife and a four-year-old son last April 14.
Last March 28, Dandy Miguel, vice chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno’s Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU), was shot to death in Barangay Canlubang in Calamba, Laguna.
Last March 7, nine activists were killed during the joint military and police operations in South Luzon provinces. They reportedly had links with rebels in the areas.
CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said the commission decried the killing of Matienzo and denounced the prevalence of killings among the vulnerable sectors, including the youth.
“Youth leaders and youth in general play a vital role in nation-building. It is deeply tragic when they become victims of the growing culture of impunity and violence in our society,” De Guia, a lawyer, said in a statement.
She reminded the government of its primary obligation to protect the youth.
“We must not fail the dreams and hopes of our future generations. As we have numerously stressed, expedient measures and concrete actions from the government are crucial to resolve the killings and prevent any further loss of life,” she said.
The CHR Region IV-A has started conducting an independent probe on Matienzo’s death and monitoring the case to its just resolution, she added.