DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A human rights lawyer who responded to the massacre of Sagay farmers was shot dead in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental on Monday night.
Atty.Benjamin Ramos,56 years old, was declared dead on arrival at the Holy Mother of Mercy Hospital in KabankalanCity.He sustained three gunshot wounds at the right back side and left upper chest of his body.
Ramos is a founding member of National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers or NUPL and the secretary general of its chapter in Negros.
NUPL remembers Ramos as a passionate, dedicated, and articulate yet amiable and jolly colleague.
“Despite limitations, he was for the longest time the “go-to” pro-bono lawyer of peasants, environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations in Negros,” said NUPL in a statement.
Ramos is the 34th lawyer killed under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and 8th member of the profession killed in Visayas.
Prior to the incident, Ramos was among the so-called NPA personalities maliciously tagged in posters.
“These beastly attacks by treacherous cowards cannot go on.Not a few of our members have been attacked and killed before while literally practicing their profession and advocacies in the courts, in rallies, in picketlines, in urban poor communities, and in fact-finding missions,” NUPL said.
Ramos is one of the lawyers who assisted the victims of the massacre in Sagay,Negros as part of a quick reaction team.He is also one of the lawyers of the Mabinay 6.
A kidnapping case was also filed by authorities against Atty. Katherine Panguban, who also joined the fact-finding mission and aided the sugar farmers in Sagay after the bloody massacre.
NUPL said: “It is painful price we have to pay sometimes in the service of the people and as a pledge to the next generations we will leave behind.”(davaotoday.com)