MANILA - The European Union on Friday "strongly condemned" the killing of lawyer Benjamin Ramos, who assisted farmers after the massacre of 9 sugarcane workers in Negros Occidental.
In a statement, the EU Delegation said it was expecting the investigation to bring justice to the slay. The European bloc has been closely watching the human rights situation in the Philippines.
"The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the families of all the victims and looks to the ongoing investigations, as announced by the government, to swiftly bring those responsible to justice," the statement read.
Ramos, secretary-general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers’ Negros Occidental chapter, was gunned down in front of a store in Barangay 5, Kabankalan City late Tuesday.
He was a pro-bono lawyer of peasants, environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations.
The lawyer's death was "devastating" for rights activists, according to Human Rights Watch researcher Carlos Conde.
"He and his colleagues were representing some of the most marginalized Filipinos... Tinatarget na nga itong mga marginalized sector (The marginalized sector is already being targeted), and then you kill the lawyers that represent them. It's really quite devastating," he said.
Malacañang, meanwhile, has said blaming government for Ramos’ death was “reckless," "irresponsible" and baseless.