Blaming state forces for activists’ slay ‘unfounded’: Palace

Blaming state forces for activists’ slay ‘unfounded’: Palace

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (File photo)

MANILA – Malacañang on Wednesday condemned the killing of two human rights activists the past two weeks, saying that blaming state forces for their deaths is “unfounded”.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Negros-based activist Zara Alvarez was shot dead on Monday night in Mandalagan, Bacolod City.

Alvarez’ death came a week after the murder of National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant and peasant leader Randall Echanis in his rented house in Novaliches, Quezon City.

“We denounce any form of violence perpetuated against citizens, including activists. We are a nation of laws; and violence has no place in any civilized society,” Roque said in a statement.

He also assured that law enforcement authorities are investigating the killings of both Alvarez and Echanis.

“Blaming state forces as the people behind these murders is unfounded as investigation on the killings of Randall Enchanis and Zara Alvarez is now underway,” he said.

Roque said the Palace will wait for the formal report from the authorities.

Reports showed that Alvarez was gunned down on Monday night in a subdivision in Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City.

She was a former campaign and education director and paralegal of Karapatan in Negros Island.

Karapatan Secretary-General Cristina Palabay said that Alvarez was included in the supposed 2018 list where Echanis was tagged as a terrorist.

Echanis was found dead with multiple stab wounds and two gunshots on his head in Novaliches, Quezon City last August 10.

He was laid to rest on Monday at the Loyola Memorial park in Marikina City.

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria “Joma” Sison earlier blamed the government for the killing of Echanis. (PNA)

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