The following statement was read by Fr. Artemio Calaycay, IFI, a member of the Centre for Philippine Concerns in Montreal, at an event on the island of Panay in the Philippines today, July 13, 2010, to demand justice for Fernando Baldomero, Bayan Muna coordinator. Baldomero was killed July 5 in front of his 12-year old son.
Justice for Fernando Baldomero and all victims of extrajudicial killings
Joint Statement from Bayan Canada and ILPS Canada
July 13, 2010 — Our thoughts and hearts go out across the miles that separate us to the family and friends of Fernando Baldomero, the first activist killed under the new Aquino administration. We were shocked when we heard that Baldomero, a Bayan Muna provincial coordinator in Aklan, had been gunned down in front of his son by motorcycle-riding men right outside his home.
Just when we hoped the spate of killings begun under the former Arroyo regime would be coming to an end, it took barely five days after the new President was sworn in for the first extrajudicial killing of a political activist to occur.
But the shock had not worn off when the news of more killings reached our shores: Anak Pawis member Pascual Guevarra, 78 years old, from Nueva Ecija was killed right in his home on July 9, the same day as Mark Francisco, 27, an ACT Teachers partylist member and Edgar Fernandez, 44, another public school teacher, both from Masbate. Another ACT member and public school teacher, Dexter Legazpi, 36, also from Masbate, fortunately survived a shooting on July 6.
When are the these killings going to stop! When will the bloody climate of impunity put into place during the Arroyo reign be ended once and for all!
It is obviously not enough that the new President instruct the military to uphold human rights in its counter-insurgency campaign. They appear not only incapable of doing that, but instead are on a killing spree.
When will the new President have the strength of character and the human decency to do what is right and scrap Arroyo’s bloody counter-insurgency program known as Oplan Bantay Laya that has targeted unarmed activists?
Fernando Baldomero, a political detainee in the 1980s, paid the ultimate price for wanting justice, true democracy and a decent standard of living for the majority of Filipinos. Despite previous threats on his life he continued as a councillor of Lezo, Aklan and as the coordinator of the party-list group Bayan Muna and an official of the Makabayan Coalition in the province.
Just last March, two men on board a motorcycle with no plate number lobbed two grenades at Baldomero’s house. This was only one of several attempts on Fernando’s life in the last year.
Be assured that we in Canada, part of Bayan Canada, along with our friends in ILPS Canada and the member groups of the Stop the Killings campaign will continue to be at your side across the miles demanding justice for Fernando, Pascual, Mark, Edgar and the hundreds of victims before them
We will not stop until the perpetrators of these atrocities have been brought to justice, no matter how high up the chain of command in the military structures it is necessary to go, and until the counter-insurgency campaign Oplan Bantay Laya has been scrapped. Human decency and a respect for fundamental human rights demands no less.
Stop the Killings in the Philippines
Justice for Fernando Baldomero and all victims of extrajudicial killings?