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Solons condemn killing of progressive priest, escalating attacks

5 December 2017 No Comment

PRESS RELEASE
05 December 2017

Solons condemn killing of progressive priest, escalating attacks

ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro condemned in the strongest possible terms the killing of Fr. Tito Paez in Nueva Ecija yesterday evening, December 4 and the increasingly worsening state of human rights in the Philippines under the Duterte administration. Both solons hold President Duterte accountable for the increasing number of human rights defenders harassed, attacked and killed under his administration.

Another killing of a human rights defender was reported last night. Fr. Tito Paez, former parish priest in Guimba and currently coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in Central Luzon, was shot at 8pm last night while driving his vehicle at San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija. He died a few hours later at the hospital. Earlier that day, Fr. Tito assisted in facilitating the release of political prisoner Rommel Tucay who is detained at the BJMP jail in Cabanatuan. Fr Tito was also a founding member of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) in Central Luzon.

This was after the killing of Pastor Lovelito Quiñones last December 3 in Sitio Anapla, Brgy. Din Pedro, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro and the shooting of a fact-finding mission which caused the death of Elisa Badayos, Karapatan Central Visayas coordinator last November 28 in Negros Oriental.

“This is part of the crackdown against progressive organizations which Duterte vilifies as in a ‘conspiracy’ with the CPP-NPA-NDFP. Human rights defenders are being harassed, attacked and killed left and right under the Duterte government,” Tinio stated. “Fr. Tito Paez has been fighting for the people’s rights since the time of Marcoses. We are saddend and deeply angered by his killing.”

“How could the Filipino people sleep comfortably in their homes when we hear news of the killings of human rights advocates everyday by state agents who should be the main protector of the people’s basic human rights?” Castro said. “It is very ironic that as we near the commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this coming December 10, the state intensifies its attacks against human rights defenders, with Duterte tightening his fascist dictator’s hold on the government.”

“State security forces and their proxies are shooting and killing activists as part of Duterte’s crackdown,” Tinio added. “We hold President Duterte directly accountable for the further worsening state of human rights in our country from the thousands killed under his drug war to the killings of activists, critics and defenders of human rights.”

“The people will not allow another dictator to rule our country,” Castro added. “The people will resist this fascist rule and will continue to fight for their rights.”###