May 16, 2013. Members of Australia’s Filipino Ministerial Consultative Committee (FMCC) urge Australian government’s assistance in seeking justice for murdered Adelaide-based Australian national Ceferino Lapuz Jr., who was gunned down on May 5 in the Philippines.
Norma Hennessy, Adelaide-based member of the FMCC and a colleague of the deceased, informed the FMCC that Mr. Lapuz was alleged to be still alive after he sustained 2 gunshot wounds, but he was rejected in 3 hospitals where he was brought to by someone whose identity was not given. Ms. Hennessy was also told by Mr. Lapuz’s relatives in Adelaide that there was no reliable witness to the murder.
“There seems to be no promise of investigation into his death that was being done in Manila. His violent death seems to have been swept under the rug. His family who flew from Adelaide to Manila to attend his funeral service were encouraged to get his body cremated”, said Ms. Hennessy.
Concerned FMCC members had immediately acted to make sure the incident was made known to the Philippine Consulate in South Australia and Canberra, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Adelaide, Philippine Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima, Australian Embassy in Manila and relevant Australian and Philippine media contacts.
FMCC members are seriously concerned about the lack of Police Report in the Philippines. There was no investigation into the killing, according to the deceased’s wife, Vicky Lapuz, who asked the FMCC for help. She sent Ms. Hennessy a text message on the mobile phone: “Can you please assist me to report his death to the [Australian] embassy and to facilitate possible investigation of the case for me to seek justice?”
FMCC members want the Australian Government to intervene and prevail upon the Philippine Government to protect a Filipino-Australian who has a dual citizenship. They also ask the Australian Government: “Do we cease to be entitled to our human rights under our Australian citizenship when we are in the territory where we are dual citizens?” ###
(by Bobby Lastica in Munting Nayon News)