ABS-CBN reporter Chiara Zambrano took to Facebook to urge her lawyer friends to start creating a simplified list of human rights that may help serve as cheat codes for everyone to read in case they deal with potential human rights violations.
“Mga kaibigan kong abugado, makakatulong na po kayo dito. Magsalita na po kayo. Mag-post lang kayo ng listahan ng mga karapatan natin bilang tao, at isulat niyo sa simpleng paraan,” Zambrano said in her Facebook post on September 7.
“Ikalat natin, para marami ang makabasa, at mas maintindihan ng mga kababayan natin. Para mayron din silang kodigo, sa panahong sa kanila naman tututok ang mga baril sa dilim,” she added.
“Tulungan na tayo. Tulungan na tayo,” she wrote.
Zambrano’s message to her lawyer friends came from the fact that some of the people, especially mothers around her expressed concern over the safety of their kids amid the recent spate of killings involving teenagers.
She told the story of how their house help has warned her son not to go out at night, especially without a shirt on to avoid attracting unwanted suspicions.
“Sabi niya kanina, natatakot na raw siyang palabasin ng bahay yung anak niyang binata niya kapag gabi. Bawal na din siyang lumabas na walang tshirt… Para… Ewan… Siguro kasi pag nakahubad sa kalsada, mukhang salbahe, pwedeng pwedeng mapaghinalaan,” Zambrano wrote.
“Eh mahirap nang mapaghinalaan ngayon,” she added.
She also told another story about how someone she knew had a young nephew who has been frequently visited at home by men who are sometimes in their uniform and other times, in their civilian clothes, asking to let that nephew sign a form that would make it seem as though the young man admitting to something and vowing not to do it again.
“May kilala ako, araw-araw silang kinatok sa bahay. Ibigay na raw yung binata nilang pamangkin, kasi wala naman daw problema kung hindi naman daw talaga siya adik, eh di pumirma lang siya ng form at di na siya hahabulin. Kaso ang nakalagay sa form, eh parang “Hindi na po mauulit.” Bale para kang umamin, para hindi ka na habulin,” Zambrano said.
“Yung kumakatok, minsan naka-uniporme, minsan naka-sibilyan,” she added.
Even the city where she grew up was not spared from the incidents of killings, where moms of the victims could sometimes be heard crying and whispering that indeed, their sons were killed because they were drug users, something that Zambrano lamented about.
“Ang dami na po nating nakakalimutang karapatan. Ganun kasi ang epekto kung ang mga otoridad mismo ang nagsasabi sa’ting “Hindi na ganyan ang kalakaran ngayon eh,”” she wrote.
This led her to ask her lawyer friends to list down the human rights that we ought to fight for when facing someone who might violate those rights.
There is an ongoing case against three Caloocan cops who are accused of killing 17-year-old Kian delos Santos with the excuse that he shot at and fought back during his arrest, when he was suspected as a drug pusher.
Another case, that of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, is also being pushed by the Public Attorneys’ Office due to the autopsy results that showed that he was tortured before he was shot when he was on the ground. Caloocan cops claimed that Arnaiz also fought back when he was pursued by the police after allegedly robbing a taxi driver.