Issue of February 3, 2019

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Groups condemn slaying of peace consultant, IP advocate
by Ofelia C. Empian

Calling it a cowardly act, various groups condemned the killing of National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant Randy Felix Malayao, who was shot to death by gunmen while asleep inside a bus in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya on Jan. 30.

In a statement, Cordillera People’s Democratic Front Spokesperson Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan said the act is part of the present administration’s “desperate attempt” to eradicate the revolutionary movement.

Malayao was asleep on a bus bound for Santiago, Isabela when two hitmen shot him while the bus was in Aritao. The duo then escaped onboard a motorcycle.

“(President) Rodrigo Duterte, in his mad hallucination that he can crush the people’s national-democratic movement by demonic means, has unleashed a full-blown killing spree, targeting unarmed civilians and legitimate people’s leaders such as Malayao,” Naogsan said.

He said the 49-year-old Malayao as an NDFP consultant, has actively and consistently propagated the revolutionary movement’s stand for a just and lasting peace in the Ilocos, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, and elsewhere in the country.

“He attended local peace consultations, such as those held in Tubo, Abra and Baguio City to explain the stand of the NDFP regarding the peace negotiations,” he said. 

“We can never expect any justice for Randy Malayao and the multitudes of victims of extra-judicial killing under the terrorist reign of the U.S.-Duterte regime,” Naogsan stated, adding Malayao’s death would further fuel the revolutionary movement.

Malayao was also part of the Department of Justice terrorist list where Cordilleran personalities such as Joan Carling, Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, and Jose Molintas, among others were also listed. The DOJ has since amended its petition removing the names of said personalities from the terrorist list.

The Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Katribu), in a statement, said Malayao also led community consultations to forward the social and economic demands of the indigenous peoples towards the realization of their collective right to ancestral land and self-determination.

Katribu said Malayao has actively participated in peace negotiations as a member of the Reciprocal Working Group on the Political and Constitutional Reforms. He was part of the panel for the peace negotiations in Europe under the current administration.

“Randy is one with the stand of the IP that the armed conflict will only be resolved if fundamental social and economic reforms are to be implemented,” the group stated.

Malayao is the 55th indigenous peoples leaders murdered under the Duterte administration.

“Most of the 55 IP victims of EJK were carried out assassination-style by motorcycle-riding gunmen. Although majority of the victims are lumads under martial law in Mindanao, Randy’s case is not isolated under the all-out war campaign of the U.S.-Duterte regime,” Katribu said.

The Philippine National Police said it has created a task force to look into the murder of Malayao.

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