MANILA - Organizers of a people’s initiative campaign are asking President Benigno Aquino III to order the police and other pertinent agencies to look into the shooting of a peasant leader by unknown gunmen after attending a signing campaign in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
“We ask President Benigno Aquino III to order pertinent government agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the violent crime be brought to court and prosecuted,” said Msgr. Romualdo Kintanar, co-chair of the National Coordinating Council of the People’s Initiative to Abolish Pork Barrel.
He asked the Commission on Human Rights, the Diocese of Tagum, the Philippine National Police, concerned local government units, and other human rights organizations to immediately create a fact-finding investigation on the shooting of Dexter Ian Selebrado.
Selebrado was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen as he was leaving the launching of the People’s Initiative against pork barrel at the Tagum City Cultural & Trade Center last September 29.
The 32-year-old organizer is reportedly still in critical condition.
“We condemn the shooting of the farmer as there must be no killing of anybody under whatever circumstances, much more under the reported situation where the farmer got involved with a legitimate activity for political and social reform,” Kintanar said.
He said activities related to the People’s Initiative Against the Pork Barrel (PIAP) should be given utmost protection by the government.
“We stress that PIAP is not against any person, family, groups, or organizations. PIAP is fully and consistently promoting decency, integrity, transparency and accountability among our government officials. PIAP is supportive of all public officials’ efforts for good governance. We are working solely for the abolition of the present pork barrel system because it is one of the major causes of unabated corruption and patronage politics in the country. We are conducting the PIAP campaign in the most peaceful, lawful and prayerful manner,” Kintanar said.
He said the fight against pork barrel deserves the support of Filipinos.