Karapatan calls for CHR probe over killing of urban poor leader Carlito Badion

Human rights group Karapatan called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to launch an independent investigation on the killing of Kadamay secretary general Carlito Badion, as the group decried the death of the urban poor leader as “a gruesome murder.”

“We are strongly outraged by inhumane and deplorable killing and we demand that the perpetrators of such brutal act should be made accountable. Ka Karletz has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of the homeless and of the urban poor’s right to housing and their other basic rights. His death is a tremendous loss for the people and we demand justice,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay stated.

Badion was found dead along a highway in Ormoc City, Leyte last Thursday, May 28. His corpse was already bloated, when his body was recovered, along with a wound on his neck seemingly caused by a shot from a makeshift firearm. He was last seen on May 26, when he received death threats.

The urban poor leader joined various communities in resisting threats of demolitions such as the urban poor community of Sitio San Roque in Quezon City and Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City. Before he was killed, Badion was organizing workers and urban poor communities in Leyte.

The Karapatan official said “Badion was subjected by State forces to various and ruthless forms of red-tagging, harassment, vilification, and threats to his life and security for standing up for the homeless and the urban poor. The State’s militarist lapdogs are the only ones set to benefit from his death.”

“We strongly urge the CHR to conduct an independent investigation into his killing. Badion’s brutal murder is the latest in the many shameless and violent attacks on the homeless and the urban poor especially in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, more so with the looming passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill which is only set to pose more threats to people’s rights and civil liberties. As we grieve, we also rage. There will be no peace without justice,” she ended.