August 5, 2007

Political Asylum

VANCOUVER, B.C. CANADA – A Philippine medical doctor and political activist is seeking political asylum in Canada after surviving a brutal attack on his family a year ago in the northern province of Kalinga in the Philippines.

Dr. Constancio Claver and his three daughters fled the country after the attack, which resulted in the death of his wife Alice Omengan -Claver and in serious injuries for Dr. Claver. The attackers, believed to be Philippine military operatives, ambushed a car driven by Dr. Claver at a busy intersection in the town of Tabuk. The Clavers were on their way to drop their youngest daughter in school when the attackers opened fire, first hitting Dr. Claver. Alice covered him with her own body thereby receiving the fatal shots herself. Their 11-year old daughter was seated behind and was grazed by a bullet on the head though not seriously. They were rushed to the hospital where Alice succumbed to her wounds. []
Canada's Refugee system will be put to test here. Admitting Dr. Claver as a refugee is like recognizing that there is indeed a political persecution in the Philippines. Kind of another slap in the face of Pres. Arroyo. Interesting.