MANILA - The wife of a farmer in Albay, who was shot dead by authorities for supposedly spray-painting protest slogans, dismissed Thursday claims that her husband resisted arrest.
Jaymar Palero, 22, and Marlon Naperi, 38, were shot in Guinobatan town early Monday because they allegedly "fought back" after being caught vandalizing a bridge with a supposedly anti-administration graffiti.
"Yun po 'yung pinagtataka ko kung bakit nagkaroon ang asawa ko ng ganun eh kahit nga po pambili ng bigas namin hirap po kami. Paano po siya magkakaroon ng ganun (baril)?" Palero's wife Jessica told Teleradyo.
(That's what bothers me because how come my husband supposedly had a gun when even we have trouble buying rice. How can he have something like that?)
Human rights group Karapatan had said Palero was a member of Organisasyon ng mga Magsasaka sa Albay while Naperi was affiliated with Albay People’s Organization.
A police report claimed the 2 men were armed and fired shots at the cops, forcing the law enforcers to fight back.
The killing took place before President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his sixth and final State of the Nation Address, where he promised security forces of free legal services in case they figured in cases in line with their duty.
In the interview, Jessica said she was not aware of her husband's involvement with a local farmers group.
She said Jaymar worked as a farmer and motorcycle driver.
Jessica also claimed she read a report that Jaymar was supposedly caught breaking the curfew at 10 p.m. Sunday.
"Ilang oras po pagkahuli sa kaniyang buhay, ang pinalabas na po, ang sabi, patay na yung asawa ko ala-1. Nakipaglaban po daw. Nakipagbarilan," she said.
(Few hours later after he was caught alive, he was reported dead at 1 a.m. He allegedly fought back.)
Jessica said her husband sustained 2 gunshot wounds. Jaymar will be laid to rest next week.
Guinobatan Mayor Ann Ongjoco said they would provide burial assistance to the family.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has ordered an investigation into the incident "to bring clarity on what happened."
He also asked the Bicol region police chief to put the 2 involved policemen under restrictive custody while waiting for the results of the investigation.