DAVAO CITY—Youth and students led by Kabataan Partylist stormed Camp Panacan of the 10th Infantry Division today crying for justice in the commemoration of the 8th anniversary of the massacre of student leader Benjaline ‘Beng’ Hernandez and her three companions. A cultural night was held at the grave of Beng to honor her exemplary deeds as a youth leader. Kabataan Partylist and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) held similar activities nationwide.
“We cannot achieve change in the absence of justice”, said Ronnie Clarion regional spokesperson of Kabataan Partylist. “Giving justice for the brutal murder of Beng and her companions is imperative in the youth’s struggle for a brighter future.”
Beng Hernandez was the vice-president for Mindanao of the CEGP and deputy secretary general of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao when she was brutally murdered along with three others last April 5, 2002 in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato while conducting a research.
“We admire her heroism. Sacrificing personal interest for the good of the poor and oppressed is not an easy road to take,” stressed Clarion.
“Beng inspired the youth not only in Davao but also across the archipelago. She influenced many students to use their talents, skills and time in advancing the people’s movement for genuine change.”
Clarion added that the youth would do everything to give justice to all victims (of humans rights abuses). He said the protests should serve as a warning to the Arroyo regime and her butchers that the youth are ready to defend our rights inside the halls of Congress and outside of it.
The group shook the gate of the military camp to express their rage against the mercenary activities of the AFP and the inutility of the government to punish those who are responsible for the massacre.