Melo Commission Report: Findings

Feb. 23, 2007


With the exception of Hernando Baria, the killing of farmers-activists appeared to have followed the same pattern as other activists. In the case of the Vigo spouses, their killing could have been motivated by political reasons or by reason of their perceived ties with the NPA. In the case of Enrico Cabanit, it appears that he was killed for his activities as a peasant farmer leader, and not for affiliation with politicians or with the NPA. In any case, their deaths are equally deplorable and cannot be countenanced. Most of the cases of agrarian related killings have pending investigations or legal action before the proper authorities. Hence, the result of such investigations should shed more light on the persons or interests behind the killings. In this regard, the prosecution and law enforcement authorities concerned should expedite the investigation and prosecution of these crimes. Particular attention should be placed on the investigations being undertaken by the police in the various cases, specifically that of Cabanit, it appearing that the police seemed to have failed to earnestly and properly investigate the same.

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