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UPLB community calls for justice a year after Laude’s death

by ALBERT JOHN ENRICO A. DOMINGUEZ

The UPLB Community commemorated Jennifer Laude’s first death anniversary through an indignation rally last October 13, 2015 at the Carabao Park. The activity was led by the UPLB Babaylan, with the partnership of UPLB University Student Council (USC).

It was just last October 11, 2014 when Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude was found lifeless in Celzone Lodge Hotel at Olongapo after checking in with Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton.

Various student organizations and institutions shared their solidarity messages voicing out their calls for pressing issues with regards to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community and gender-related violence.  The participating organizations and institutions are UPLB Perspective, Kabataan Partylist Southern Tagalog, Kapatirang Plebeians UPLB Curia, Anakbayan-UPLB, Pi Sigma Delta Sorority, University Freshie Council, Gabriela Youth UPLB, Samahan ng Kabataan Para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN), League of Filipino Students (LFS), Center for Nationalist Studies, and Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP).

The students pointed out how some elements of the current system should be scrapped because it abuses human rights. “Kami po ay naniniwala na lahat ay may karapatan na mamuhay ng malaya. Isang taon na ngunit wala pa ring hustisya, wala pa ring usad ang kaso.  No to Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).” Yvann Zuniga, vice chairperson, said.

Issues of militarization were also raised. “Malala pa rin ang kalagayan ng mga kabataan. Isa na rito ang kaso ng school sa Mindanao. Pinapasok ito ng mga US military na labag sa ating batas.” said Carla Monge, representative from Kabataan Partylist Southern Tagalog.

“Kagaya sa campus, sapilitan tayong pinapaalis paglampas ng ikasampu.  Ang issue ng kabataan ay hindi malayo sa issue ng LGBT.” Monge added.

The activity concluded with a candle-lighting ceremony. [P]

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