PNP blame-game on Malayao’s killing seeks to shield State forces from accountability - Karapatan

“As in many other cases of state-sponsored killing, the government whips up some fantastic theory, expressed through contradictory statements and devoid of any evidence, that uses the NPA or some other scapegoat to evade accountability of its State forces and justify more draconian measures,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay in response to the statement of Chief Supt. Mario Espino of Philippine National Police Region 2 tagging the New People’s Army in the recent killing of peace consultant Randy Felix Malayao.

“All along, it was the Duterte government who included peace and human rights advocate Randy Felix Malayao in the proscription petition in February 2018 and branded him as a terrorist, inciting violations against him and many others. All along, it was Duterte and his minions who bayed for the blood of activists such as Malayao. It is as clear as day - the Duterte government has the motive to silence those who work for the cause of human rights and just peace; it has promoted the pattern of threats, harassment and the filing of trumped up charges against political dissenters; it has incited violence against individuals like Malayao; and it has engendered the climate of impunity that led to the killing of Malayao. The PNP is deliberately bringing the NPA into the issue, to muddle the reality that this cold-blooded killing was perpetrated by the government’s death squads,” she stated.

Palabay stated that “this has been the worn-out lines from the playbook of the military during the Macapagal-Arroyo regime, a theory so unbelievable that even then UN Special Rapporteur on Philip Alston has deemed such excuses as unacceptable.” 

“This was also the Duterte government’s script to shield its paramilitary forces in the Sagay massacre last October 2018 and to roll-out its Memorandum Order #32 which enabled the increased deployment of soldiers in Negros. State forces also blamed the NPA for the killing of Ako-Bicol partylist Rodel Batocabe in December 2018, and when their made-up story didn’t fly and Batocabe’s wife contended with it, they had to find another angle. Now again, with Malayao’s case, they are peddling the same narrative. We have had enough of the PNP’s overzealous talent for playing the blame game,” she added. 

On January 30, 2019, NDFP consultant Randy Felix Malayao was killed while onboard a bus in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. Gunmen boarded the bus and shot Malayao twice while he was asleep. The victim was on his way home when the incident happened. Malayao was also a former political prisoner. He was abducted, tortured, and charged with trumped-up charges in 2008, but was later released in 2012. He is also a member of the board of trustees of SELDA-Northern Luzon, and the current vice president of the Makabayan coalition.

“Randy’s record of service speaks for himself, so does the state’s record of persecuting him. Furthermore, the Duterte government has thousands of killings under its belt, many of those executed in the same manner of cowardice and brutality as Randy’s case. After all, this is a regime that does not care for human rights, so any abuse is possible, permitted, and condoned,” Palabay said.

“The PNP seems disinterested in a thorough investigation, as it prefers to quickly dismiss the case. At best, it is indicative of the typical dishonest, misleading and deceitful PNP who spins the most ludicrous of stories; at worst, it is a defense mechanism to protect  the real perpetrators by laying the blame elsewhere,” she concluded.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831 

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580