Gunmen kill leader of DSWD-Davao siege

Subscribe Now March 05, 2013 at 11:50pm

Unidentified gunmen shot dead a village official who was among the leaders that led a protest in Davao City to condemn the non-delivery of humanitarian aid to victims of typhoon Pablo (international codename: Bopha) in Davao Oriental province, human rights groups said. Quoting reports from Hanimay Suazo, Karapatan secretary general in southern Mindanao, the group Hustisya said that Cristina Morales Jose of Binondo village in the town of Baganga in Davao Oriental province, was killed at about 6 p.m. on Monday.

It said that Jose just attended a village session and was heading home when she was shot.

Hustisya strongly condemned the killing of Jose, who was one of the leaders that trooped to the office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Davao City.

Jose was also a leader of Bayan Muna party-list and a member of Barug Katawhan, the organization formed by typhoon victims that demanded not only food and relief, but accountability to government agencies such as the Social Welfare department because of the non-delivery of much-needed aid.

“We are filled with anger with the killing of Cristina Jose. We condemn those who felled her in as much as we have condemned the government who further aggravated the suffering of the typhoon victims,” Hustisya secretary general Cristina Guevarra said.

Karapatan said that prior to the killing, Jose and the others who joined the protest were allegedly harassed by other officials and soldiers who belong to the 67th Infantry Battalion (IB).

“They demanded food and justice, but they are harassed and even killed. We demand justice for Jose, and to the typhoon survivors who have been resilient against the government’s blatant negligence and ineptitude towards their plight,” Guevarra said.

The women’s group Gabriela said that Jose earlier exposed the food and economic blockade in Sitio Limot, Barangay Binondo, by the 67th Infantry Battalion two days after Barug Katawhan staged a barricade in Montevista, Compostela Valley on January 15. It was then that Jose started to receive several threats to her life.

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan also condemned the murder and said: “blood is in the hands of President Benigno Aquino [3rd].”

“We condemn in strongest terms this treachery by the fascist government. What Kagawad Jose did was to simply expose cases of corruption and human rights violations enshrouding the relief operations in Baganga perpetrated by
the 67th IB,” said Bayan Muna spokesman Sheena Duazo.

She said that troops blockaded the humanitarian aid intended for the typhoon victims in the village of Binondo.

“The Aquino government must be held accountable for allowing the number of human rights violations and the state of impunity to go unabated. We demand accountability from the current regime for the killing of Jose and all other victims of Oplan Bayanihan,” Duazo said, referring to the government’s anti-insurgency campaign.

Source: manilatimes.net



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