PNP Region II’s malicious, unsubstantiated statements deflect State accountability on the killing of Malayao

“There is now a barrage of malicious and false allegations hurled against peace consultant Randy Malayao. Attacking a dead person to justify his killing is the odious handiwork of Malayao’s murderers and their protectors. Instead of focusing on an impartial investigation, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been busying itself with circulating baseless, unsubstantiated, and malicious rumors about Malayao and creating intrigue on his death. The police have become akin to a deranged paparazzis in uniform, resulting from the State actors’ paranoia of being discovered as the perpetrators. Perhaps no one can play as dirty and as downright callous as the Duterte regime and its gamut of paid mercenaries and propaganda machine,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay, in response to the accusations of the Philippine National Police Region II against Malayao.

Peace and human rights advocate Randy Malayao, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on political and constitutional reforms, was shot dead while onboard a passenger bus bound for Isabela on January 30, 2019. He was a former political prisoner, abducted, tortured and eventually surfaced by the Philippine Army’s 5th Infantry Division in 2008. He was detained on trumped-up cases for four years, until 2012 when all the charges against him were dismissed. Thereafter, he worked in many rights organizations, including the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA). 

On February 1, two ranking officials involved in the case and investigation have been relieved from their posts due to alleged “mishandling” of evidence in Malayao’s murder. “Were they relieved because they abided by correct procedure of releasing Malayo’s personal effects to his family? Were they ‘punished’ because they went off-script while the police and military are still hatching their sinister plot of blaming Malayao’s killing on others except their fellow State actors? Or are they just scapegoats for the government’s cover-up scheme on Malayao’s death?” Palabay asked.  

Among the false allegations against Malayao is his being a “financial and sexual opportunist.” “This is not a page in the entertainment section, but an investigation in the killing of a human rights and peace advocate. We are abhor the lack of decency towards Randy Malayao and his grieving family and colleagues,” Palabay added. 

Prior to his killing, Malayao has already been subjected to numerous incidents of harassment and intimidation. His name was included in defamatory messages and posters. In February 2018, Malayao’s name was included in the proscription petition filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) at a Manila court, seeking to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as terrorist organizations. “The said petition was no more than pages and pages of harassment and intimidation directed against human rights and peace advocates, to brand them as terrorists and declare an “open season” of violations against these individuals,” said Palabay.

In January 2019, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 19 cleared 600 names off the proscription petition, including Malayao’s. “By virtue of being a consultant of the NDFP, Malayao was supposed to be protected under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The removal of his name from the proscription petition is supposed to have accorded him a safer environment in the conduct of his work. All these, however, are inconsequential to a vindictive and murderous regime. Unsatisfied, it had to unleash its rabid blabbermouths to gossip endlessly about a man of peace, to deflect the spotlight from the real murderers – Duterte and his fellow warmongers,” Palabay emphasized. 

“While we are disgusted at these desperate efforts to defame vilify Malayao, we are well aware of the real intentions behind the continued intrigue on his death. This is a classic case of cover-up and deflection. We will not be sidetracked by such ridiculous methods. We will exact justice for Randy Malayao and all victims of human rights violations under this ruthless regime,” Palabay concluded.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831 

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580