Multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) condemned the killing of its local leader in Batangas at dawn today, which brought the total number of assassinated activists to 43 under the Aquino administration.
A report from BAYAN’s chapter in Batangas said that its Chairperson Kenet Reyes was shot dead by still unidentified gunmen at early morning today. Reyes was also the barangay captain of Barangay Maguihan in Lemery, Batangas.
“President Aquino has repeatedly assured the public that he will not tolerate the human rights atrocities against leaders and members of progressive organizations perpetrated by the previous Arroyo administration and state security forces. Yet the killings of activists continue under his watch. We can’t help but have serious doubts on the sincerity and resolve of this government to once and for all stop the extrajudicial killings and bring the perpetrators to justice”, BAYAN secretary general Renato Reyes said.
Kenet Reyes is the 43rd activist killed since Aquino took over Malacañang last July 2010 or a rate of one activist being killed every week. Before he was killed, Reyes alerted his colleagues that the local Philippine National Police (PNP) has deployed a unit at the barangay hall to supposedly ensure peace and order in the area.
Prior to his election as barangay captain, Reyes was also a former youth activist with Anakbayan and a member of the People First Coalition and the Bayan Muna partylist group.
“With the rate of the killings under Aquino, it’s turning out that the supposed matuwid na daan is stained by even more bloodshed and violence against activists and human rights advocates. If the government claims that it’s doing something to address the killings, their efforts are obviously not enough. The impunity with which the killings are being carried out under Gloria persists”, Reyes added.