Youth groups Anakbayan Quezon City (Anakbayan QC) and Youth Movement Against Tyranny (YMAT) held its Black Friday Protest in front of the Quezon City Police District Station 4 on July 6, Friday to condemn the death of 25-year old Genesis ‘Tisoy’ Argoncillo, the first casualty under the Oplan Tambay of the Duterte administration.
Argoncillo died inside the station on June 19, four days after being arrested by the Philippine National Police (PNP) for being shirtless.
“Malinaw na ang inaatake lamang ng Oplan Tambay ng administrasyong Duterte ay ang mga mahihirap,” said Shiela Amande, spokesperson of Anakbayan QC.
[It is clear that the Oplan Tambay of the Duterte administration only attacks the poor.]
Amande said that only the poor in urban poor communities were targeted in the new directive of the president.
“Gaya ng Oplan Tokhang, na isang malaking kabiguan sa gera kontra droga, ang Oplan Rody o Oplan Tambay naman ngayon ang kabiguan ng pamahalaan na gawing ligtas ang mga pamayanan, kung naghahabol lang ng quota ang pulis, kung sa mismong loob ng police station ay namamatay ang mga mahihirap at mga sawing-palad na naabutan ng operasyon ng police,” sabi ni Amande.
[Like Oplan Tokhang, that is a big failure in the war on drugs, Oplan Rody or Oplan tambay is now the failure of the government to make communities safe, when the police were only after making their [arrest] quota, when inside the police station itself, the poor and hapless who were overtaken by police operations die,” said Amande.]
While the police first reported that Argoncillo died due to shortness of breath, an autopsy report from the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) indicated that the victim suffered “multiple blunt force trauma” shown on the bruises on his extremities and body.
Kin and friends also said that Argoncillo was also reported to had something forced inside his genitals.
The youth groups insisted that Argoncillo suffered under torture while in detention.
Protesters lit candles in front of the police station ‘to ask for justice for Argoncillo’s untimely demise.’
Policemen stood between the station’s gate and the protesters and prohibited the protesters from tying black ribbons on the gate.
Argoncillo’s friends and neighbors lamented that the police would be back in their community for their many operations and that has prevented others from joining the protest.
Paco Perez of YMAT condemned the police for Argoncillo’s death at their custody.
“Hindi na maibabalik ang buhay na kinuha ninyo. Hindi niyo pinaglilingkuran ang mga mamamayan at mahihirap, kayo pa mismo ang kaaway nila dahil sa inyong mga inutil na operasyon. Pinapatay ng administrasyong ito ang mahihirap at hindi ang kahirapan,” he said.
[You cannot bring back the life that you took. You do not serve the poor people, you have become their adversaries because of your inutile operations. This administration kills the poor and not poverty.]
“Hindi kami titigil hangga’t hindi nakakamit ang hustisya para kay Tisoy at sa lahat ng namatay sa ilalim ng administrasyong ito,” said Perez.
[We will not stop until we obtain justice for Tisoy and all the other victims of this administration.]