PAMALAKAYA condemns killing of fisherfolk leader in Negros Oriental
Manila, Philippines – Fisherfolk leader Roberto Tecson was shot dead yesterday in their house in Brgy. Bulado, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental in front of his children. Tecson was the Chairperson of the municipal chapter of fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Guihulngan City.
According from the report of human rights group KARAPATAN Negros Island, past 10:00 in the evening yesterday, Tecson was gunned down by 6 riding in tandem wearing bonnets. Also according to his wife Lorna, on July 23, day before the incident happened, members of the Philippine Army under the 79th Infantry Battalion were hunting Roberto, accusing him of transporting armed groups using his pump boat. On July 24, hours before the incident, the military returned to the community and looked for him while his wife the protest rally for President Rodrigo Duterte’s 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA).
PAMALAKAYA in a statement claimed that Tecson was a legitimate and active member of PAMALAKAYA who led his fellow fisherfolk in the community in the campaign against repressive provisions of the amended Fisheries Code or Republic Act 10654. This includes exorbitant fines and fees, and strict fishing rules imposed among small fisherfolk.
“While President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his state of the nation address, his trigger-happy military forces were following the call of duty to silence and kill the dissents. We strongly condemn this state-perpetrated killing of our fisherfolk leader,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
The group slams President Duterte’s total war declaration against the revolutionary movement which actually targets unarmed and ordinary mass movements and activist leaders.
“This culture of impunity and climate of injustice are prevalent under the Duterte administration who just declared a total war against the Filipino people especially among the ranks of farmers and fishers who resist oppressive government laws and programs and assert their civil rights,”
“The declaration of total war is embedded with heavy deployment of military in the rural communities that always results to grave human rights abuses against ordinary civilians,” Hicap said.
The fisherfolk group said this recent incident strengthens their call for the resumption of the peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Duterte government to attain lasting peace that is based on justice.
“We demand justice for our slain fisherfolk leader. We want justice for all the victims of political related killings and persecution under this administration,” ended Hicap. ###