Karapatan decries killing of two activists in Albay over anti-Duterte graffiti

A few hours before President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his “shoot-them-dead” orders against alleged communist rebels in his last State of the Nation Address, two activists in Guinobatan, Albay were reportedly gunned down by elements of the Albay Provincial Mobile Force Company, Guinobatan Municipal Police, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 5, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Regional Intelligence Unit 5, 93rd Special Action Company of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force, 97th Military Intelligence Company, and 49th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

At 1 a.m. yesterday, July 26, unarmed activists 22-year old peasant Jemar Palero of the Organisasyon ng mga Magsasaka sa Albay (OMA), and Marlon Naperi, 38, member of the Albay People’s Organization, an affiliate of Karapatan - Bicol, were killed by the police presumably while painting graffiti at the Banao Bridge along Maharlika Highway. The unfinished texts they wrote were “DUTERTE IBAGS,” which they probably intended to finish as “DUTERTE IBAGSAK” (“Down with Duterte”).

Allegations of the “nanlaban” narrative that the victims fought back and they possessed guns are not only ludicrously false — they are unbelievable tall tales because both are unarmed activists and they surely do not bear arms while doing graffiti.

Karapatan strongly decries this latest killing as yet another damning evidence of the bloody state of the nation under Duterte, where the right to life and freedom of expression, among other basic rights and liberties, are not only brazenly violated but violently suppressed.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General