Philippines: Bayan slams Panay ambush and abduction, say no end in sight for activist killings

Apr. 13, 2007

News Release
April 13, 2007

Bayan slams Panay ambush and abduction, say no end in sight for activist killings

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today condemned in the strongest terms the ambush and abduction of three activists in Panay island in the Visayas.

Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. said that the ambush of Leeboy Garachico, Nilo Ardo and Luisa Dominado showed that the pattern of repression and extrajudicial killings of activists persist under the Arroyo administration.

Garachico, the chair of Karapatan Panay was shot by two unidentified men when their pick up truck was blocked at Bgy. Cabanban, Oton, Iloilo. Latest reports say that Garachico was taken to a hospital. Ardo, Anakpawis coordinator and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chair of Panay along with Dominado, remain missing.

Bayan held an emergency protest action at the Mabuhay Rotonda in Quezon City to protest the latest ambush and abduction.

The killings and abductions continue with impunity. The incident in Panay shows that activists continue to be targets of state security forces. There can be no other suspect but the military. We demand that the military surface Ardo and Dominado immediately, Reyes said.

The governments own Melo Commission as well as United Nations special rapporteur Philip Alston have both tagged the military as responsible for the killings and abductions of activists under the Arroyo administration.

Alston for his part said that the military remained in a state of almost total denial over its responsibility and involvement in the killings.

The Arroyo government shows that it has not plans of reigning in the military despite protests here and abroad, Reyes said.

There are no indications that the killings will stop anytime soon before the May elections. The murder of activists and political opponents of the administration casts doubt on the credibility of the elections, the Bayan leader added.

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