Manila, Philippines – “In the latest mass killing of activists in the Southern Tagalog, fisherfolk and environment activist couple fell victims to Duterte’s state terror rule, making an orphan of their 10-year old child survivor,” lambasted by Zenaida Soriano, National Chairperson, Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women.
The fisherfolk couple victims, Chai Lemita-Evangelista and Ariel Evangelista, were among the five confirmed dead in the regionally-coordinated attacks against activists by the police and military, including the Bayan Cavite Secretary-General Manny Asuncion. The couple were both leading the Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwawasak ng Kalikasan at Kalupaan (Umalpas Ka), a local group in Nasugbu town. They were both found at a local funeral home after they were abducted by elements of the police at around 4 o’ clock dawn.
“We condemn Duterte’s latest attacks on activists in Southern Tagalog. This is an outright attack on the people’s right to organize, freedom of speech and expression, and right to life and safety. This is an undisputed case of crimes against humanity based on the International Humanitarian Law, which on this case, government armed forces are attacking legal activists and unarmed civilians in their counter-insurgency operations,” Soriano slammed.
According to Karapatan Timog Katagalugan, the couple activist and their 10-year old child were sleeping in a hut near the shore at Barangay Calayo of the said town, when they were raided. Neighbors reported that they’ve heard gunshots with the victims begging for mercy. After the incident, mother of Chai looked for them at hospitals but later found them at the John Paul Funeral in the said town.
Amihan called to end the state terror attacks of progressive organizations in Southern Tagalog. The group urged the public to demand for an immediate and unconditional releases of those arrested and justice for the Evangelistas and other activists. ###