Lawmakers condemn killing of Barug Katawhan leader

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013


PARTY-LIST lawmakers on Tuesday demanded justice for the killing of the leader of a group representing the survivors and victims of Typhoon Pablo, which hit southern Philippines last December.

Barug Katawhan leader Cristina Morales Jose was shot to death a week after leading protests against the government's failure to distribute relief goods to typhoon victims.

Jose, who is also a barangay councilor of Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental, was shot by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants around 6 p.m. Monday after attending a barangay council session.

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Reports said Jose was scheduled to come to Davao City on March 5 to report the alleged harassment by the barangay chairman and members of the 67th Infantry Battalion after the protest actions.

"This is unforgivable. The circumstance of the murder is especially dubious as Jose was killed less than a week after the Barug Katawhan protest against DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development)," Bayan Muna party-list Representative Teddy Casiño said in a press statement.

"The killing of Jose is an attack on our right to protest and to petition for redress of grievances. Jose and Barug Katawhan rightfully protested against the government's inaction and lack of support for the typhoon survivors. No one has the right to assail and kill anyone for protesting against inequities of government," he added.

Representatives of party-list group Gabriela, meanwhile, holds President Benigno Aquino III, the military's 67th Infantry Battalion and the DSWD accountable for the incident.

Gabriela lawmakers Luziminda Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus demanded the immediate pull-out of troops in the typhoon-stricken areas of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

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