Duterte urged to investigate political killings during BS Aquino regime

"We urge Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to look into the numerous cases of political killings and other atrocities perpetrated by the BS Aquino regime through its counter-insurgency program and bring the perpetrators to justice. Fernando Baldomero’s killing and six years of no justice mirrors the prevalent climate of impunity that must end,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general today said on the sixth year after Baldomero’s assassination.

Fernando Baldomero, was taking his 12-year old son to school when he was shot by members of paramilitary Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) in Lezo, Aklan, five days after BS Aquino took office. Baldomero was a member of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) and chairperson of Bayan Muna-Aklan chapter. He was also a municipal councilor of Lezo.

“The criminal case against the suspects in Baldomero’s killing was archived due to the BS Aquino government’s failure to serve the warrant of arrest. But BS Aquino even bragged about Baldomero’s case during his first State of the Nation Address saying justice was already rendered to the first victim of extrajudicial killing under his administration - a big lie," Palabay said.

On July 3, 2012, Dutch missionary and aid worker Willem Geertman was shot in his office in Angeles City, Pampanga. As executive director of Alay Bayan-Luzon Inc., he organized peasant communities in Central Luzon and helped them in their plight against destructive mining and anti-people government programs. He was active against the Aurora-Pacific Economic Zone (APECO) project of the Angaras, a political dynasty in Aurora province. The APECO project displaced the peasants, fisherfolk and indigenous people of Aurora. 

“It has been four years, yet the masterminds have yet to be prosecuted and the gunmen have not been convicted on the killing of Geertman," Palabay said. “BS Aquino exited with 318 victims of extrajudicial killings (Karapatan documentation as of March 30, 2016). None of the perpetrators have been convicted and punished,” she added.

“It’s time for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and BS Aquino, the implementers of Oplan Bayanihan, to face accountability for all the political killings and human rights violations perpetrated against poor Filipinos and those serving the poor,” Palabay said.

"It is time for change. Change means justice and putting an end to impunity,” Palabay ended.