Press Release
April 14, 2007


Senate Majority Leader Kiko Pangilinan today visited wounded militant Leeboy Garachico, secretary general of human rights group Karapatan in Iloilo Doctors Hospital where the victim is confined.

Garachico suffered gunshot wounds while two of his companions were abducted in an attack last Thursday. Nilo Arado of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Luisa Dominado of Selda remain missing.

Senator Kiko expressed his concern and solidarity with the victim's family. Representative Satur Ocampo was also present in Iloilo this morning to see the condition of Garachico. The families of the two missing community leaders likewise sought the help of Senator Kiko to search for their loved ones.

"We share the outrage of the people of Iloilo and the agony of the families of the victims of this crime. We are coordinating with authorities to get to the bottom of this onslaught and locate the two missing activists the soonest time possible," Kiko said.

A caucus was also conducted by Senator Kiko with members of Bayan Muna, Kilusang Magbubukid, Selda and other peasant workers in Iloilo Doctors Hospital.

"The spate of human rights violations is an affront to the Rule of Law. We believe that the only way to end the spate of attacks is to ensure that the guilty are brought before the bar of justice, tried immediately and punished swiftly. This is the long and short of it. There is no other way around this. Until this is done, the killings will not end. When we punish the guilty and do so swiftly, only then will the assaults end. Only when there is certainty of punishment will we see a healthy respect for the rule of law," Kiko added.

"We call on the citizens who may have information regarding the whereabouts of the missing persons to provide it to the families, the PNP or our office. Only if we get the perpetrators and punish them will they realize that they cannot get away with these brazen acts of lawlessness," Kiko ended.

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