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DAVAO CITY, Philippines -- Amnesty International has joined calls for the Aquino administration to pay extra attention to stemming and solving unabated extrajudicial killings in the country following the murder of one of the leaders of survivors of typhoon “Pablo” in Baganga, Davao Oriental Monday.
“We join the call in condemning the recent killing of Baganga community leader Christina Jose. She is an addition to the growing list of victims of extra judicial killings under the Aquino administration. This is another example of how impunity reigns in our country and how the government has been powerless in finding justice for its victims,” Dr. Aurora Parong, executive director of AI Philippines, said in a phone interview.
Jose was gunned down as she left a session of the village council of which she was a member. She belonged to Barug Katawhan, the organization of Pablo survivors who have protested the delays in the delivery of relief assistance, including the recent storming of the Department of Social Welfare and Development office in this city.
Parong pointed out that the rule of law should prevail and government should take concrete actions to solve the growing number of extrajudicial murders.
“An immediate investigation should be conducted by the authorities on the slain community leader. Regardless of who the perpetuators are, justice must prevail. The lack of convictions has encourage more violence and extra judicial killings, we hope that the authorities would put an end to these injustice,” Parong said, adding that she hoped the newly formed Inter-Agency Committee on Extrajudicial Killings and Human Rights violation would take notice of the Jose murder.
The body, created by President Benigno Aquino III through Administrative Order 3, is composed of representatives from the Departments of Justice, National Defense and Interior and Local Government, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Presidential Human Rights Committee, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police.
“We hope that Christina together the indigenous people’s leader of the Ati tribe in Boracay, Dexter Condez, will be included in the radar of the interagency superbody created to monitor investigations of human rights violations. Perhaps it is now the opportune time for the body to make its first report about its work after its creation last November by President Aquino,” she said.
Condez, who led the Boracay Ati in their struggle to gain possession of their ancestral land on the world-renowned tourist spot, was murdered as he came from a meeting of their organization.