On October 20, 2021, seven (7) Urns were turned-over to 5 families after being exhumed and cremated.
These efforts are part of Program Paghilom’s resolve to follow the mission of providing dignified, systematic and holistic care to widows and orphans who have fallen victims of the failed “war-on-drugs” of the Duterte Administration.
After being killed, families who have succumbed to poverty and fear had to desperately search for money to pay for the funeral services and grave sites. (How can a family whose net income barely reaches P250/day, be able to afford to cough-out P35,000 for a funeral service and another 35,000 for a temporary grave site? And in most cases, they are even charged with more!) Worth mentioning is that most of those killed were mostly the families’ bread-winners. As a result, families were forced to bury their dearly departed in “apartment for rent graves” whose lease expires after 5 years. The remains that were exhumed and cremated were part of the first wave of killings during the government’s Oplan Tokhang.
Despite very meager resources, Program Paghilom is resolved to help provide decent and dignified means of burial for EJK victims and their bereaved families. After losing their breadwinners and now confronted with the reality of losing them again as their “apartment for rent graves” expires, their only prayer is to experience some healing as their loved ones rest in their loving arms again, and later be able to lay them to rest in a permanent and dignified resting place.
The presence of our dear Vice-President Leni Gerona Robredo who also tragically lost her loved one, provided a comforting atmosphere in the solem Healing Prayer Service and Ritual.
More than offering sympathy, she assured our dear widows that they are not alone in their journey of seeking healing and justice. VP Leni mirrored how it is to be a father, who bravely stands with the weak; and a mother, who offers soothing comfort during one’s most difficult moments.
– CTTO of the photos