Statement of the Commission on Human Rights condemning the recent cases of violence against members of vulnerable sectors

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights condemning the recent cases of violence against members of vulnerable sectors

⚠️Trigger warning: Murder, killings, assault⚠️

In line with our mandate to defend the rights of vulnerable sectors, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in National Capital Region and Region III are conducting independent motu propio investigations on the recent reports of separate violence resulting in the death of a 7-year-old child in Manila; an elderly person with disability in Quezon City; and, two senior citizens and an 11-year old child in Bataan.

The first case occurred on 26 August 2023 in Manila, where 7-year-old girl Catherine Joy “CJ” Lloren succumbed to her injuries at the hospital after allegedly being beaten to death by her father for failing to return his spare change. Before passing, the victim mentioned that her father had previously been violent towards her and her mother.

The second case took place in 7 September 2023 in Barangay Kaligayahan in Quezon City, where 61-year-old Marcelino Lacsamana, a senior citizen with disability, was stabbed to death by his caregiver who happens to be a relative of Marcelino’s partner. Police continue to investigate the crime as the motive behind the killing remains a mystery.

The third case happened on 12 September 2023 in Limay, Bataan, where 2 female senior citizens, Rosita Lobaton, 70, and Marie Sampang, 60, were found dead with stab wounds, alongside an 11-year-old girl named Reign Yog Sampang. The murders were allegedly committed by the previous live-in partner of Marie who was enraged after the victim broke off their relationship and evicted him from the house.

The Commission recognizes the concerned local government units’ efforts to secure justice for the victims. As part of our investigation and monitoring efforts, we will coordinate closely with the local authorities to aid in the just resolution of these cases.

We express vehement condemnation on these latest cases of violence that trample upon the right to life and safety of the cited vulnerable individuals. It is most concerning that the crimes were committed in the comfort of their own homes and the alleged perpetrators are those close to the victims. We expect exhaustive efforts from local authorities in ensuring justice for the victims and to ascertain accountability of perpetrators.

CHR continues to reiterate that the protection and safety of vulnerable sectors is a multisectoral responsibility that requires the proactive efforts of the government as well as the cooperation of families and communities. These horrific crimes remind us of the need to be consistently vigilant in looking after the rights and welfare of the most vulnerable members of our society. ###