Press Release
May 29, 2006


Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan condemns the overwhelming spate of political killings in the country and blames the unsolved crimes to the absence of swift justice. In a meeting today with Cong. Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna, Senator Kiko expressed alarm over the lack of protection of leftist leaders constitutionally guaranteed rights, particularly, freedom of _expression and association. Another Bayan Muna activist, Noli Capulong, was gunned down in Calamba, Laguna last Saturday, May 27, 2006. Capulong was the 95th member of the group to be killed since 2001. This morning, NDF Bicol regional party head Sotero Llamas was killed in Tabaco, Albay in cold blood in front of his residence. Llamas was included in the list of 51 people charged with rebellion for allegedly plotting to overthrow President Arroyo in February.

What is more alarming than the crimes themselves is the overt indifference that has plagued this country. We hear of activists murdered left and right, in the most public of places, yet there is not enough indignation to punish the perpetrators, Kiko declared.

The serial killings of militant leaders reflect the deplorable condition of human rights in this country. The police should seriously step up its efforts to resolve this seemingly never-ending aggression against activists. The lack of closure of these cases does not only slur the Bill of Rights but also sends out the very dangerous messages that lawlessness is truly pervasive in our country. It sends out the wrong message that, it is okay to commit crimes and that culprits can get away with it and go unpunished, Kiko said.

Along with the freedom of _expression and association, political dissent is a constitutionally guaranteed right. The overwhelming number of political killings does not only mirror the ineptitude of our authorities in solving these crimes, it also reflects the worsening condition of democracy in this country. It is high time that we make decisive reforms in the system. We should not allow lawlessness to remain unabated, Kiko ended.

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