At 4:00 pm of 09 October 2009, a Mother, Disaster Victim, Urban Poor Leader, Women’s Rights Advocate, and Development Activist was brutally shot and killed, along with her teenage son, by security forces of a private landowner claiming a parcel of land at Pechayan, North Fairview, Quezon City, Republic of the Philippines.
Myrna Porcare was a long-time leader of the Samahang Magkakapit-bahay sa Pechayan, North Fairview (SAMASAPE), an affiliate grassroots organization of the Damayan ng Maralitang Pilipinong Api (DAMPA). Her community was recently devastated by severe flooding from the typhoons Ketsana and Parma, where close to 100 families, including herself, lost their homes. Within the week after the flood, while the people were still rummaging through the wreck of their houses to salvage the few remaining things that were spared by the flood, about 200 security forces representing an unidentified individual claiming to own the property swooped down on the community and proceeded to build a fence around the area.
Myrna led a mobilization to the Human Rights Commission, which declared the fencing illegal, and halted construction, since the land was still being contested by various individuals and agencies. The commission also told the people that since there was no permit for the fencing, the people can remove them. Unarmed, and only with the intent of ensuring that their community had an access route, Myrna attempted to remove a part of the fence that surrounded their community. She was then shot twice in the stomach with a shotgun, with the second shot pumped into her frail body while she was already down and bleeding on the ground. Her son Jimyr, 18 years old and still recuperating from dengue fever, attempted to help her mother but was also shot in the heart, killing him instantly. Myrna was brought to the nearby FEU Hospital but died two hours later.
The vulnerability of poor people to the effects of disasters is great, and they need the most protection, especially from those who would exploit the situation of the poor to satisfy their greed, and from representatives of authorities who would look the other way while crimes are committed against the poor, and in the worst of times possible. Please help to ensure that justice is served, and that the perpetrators of this crime do not go unpunished. Please help us put pressure on the Philippine Government, the Philippine National Police, and the Office of the President, so that they will act with haste to resolve this crime, and prevent more crimes from being committed against the poor, especially in their time of great need.
You can help by:
- Calling the PNP to inquire about the progress of the case. Three security guards were caught by the police officers of station 5 near the Fairview wet market. However, witnesses also reported that two police officers wearing from the same station were at the scene of when the crime happened. They were reportedly wearing plain clothes and did nothing to stop the second and third shots. By calling the PNP, you will have let them know that we are concerned about the case, and that we are watchingthem to make sure the perpetrators caught would not vanish under mysterious circumstances.
- Call the office of Mayor Sonny Belmonte in Quezon City, to let him know about what happened to his constituents who, instead of getting help, got one of their own shot, because she was helping her own fellow poor.
- Keeping this e-mail circulating. That way, we will sure to get the attention of people in power, so that they may axtend assistance to Myrna’s family, and community.
- Lastly, if you have time, you can visit the Myrna’s wake at their community. It is very near the road, and you will easilly find it. Going to Fairview and having passed Fairview Center Mall and the NCBA to your left, cross the bridge, make a U-turn, and go back to the bridge. Stop before the bridge, and go down the small sidestreet to your right. Her body and that of her son lies in cheap caskets on the stage of the small basketball court. They lost their home to the flood,and this was the only place her neighboors can use to remember her by.
While you are there, talk to the people, listen to their stories, hear their joys and sorrows. If you are not calloused enough. you just might hear your own heart talking.
Thank you for your time.
Who caused the Flood
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