An activist involved in COVID-19 relief operations was shot dead this morning in his own home in the village of Santo Niño Norte, Iloilo City.
Jory Porquia, 50, was inside his rented house when two unidentified men arrived and shot him several times, causing his immediate death, GMA News reports.
It’s unclear what the suspects’ motives were for killing Jory, the Iloilo City coordinator of party-list group Bayan Muna.
“It is premature to say the motives at this point in time since [the] investigation is still ongoing,” said Captain Shella Mae Sangrines of the Iloilo City police told the Manila Bulletin.
Bayan Muna condemned Jory’s shooting in a statement released today, while alleging that his killers were hired by the government.
“This is part of the impunity in political killings aimed at terrorizing activists critical of [President Rodrigo] Duterte’s administration,” the group said.
It alleged that before he died, Jorry was “hounded” by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for his involvement in “relief operations and education campaign on COVID-19 among hungry residents of poor communities in Iloilo City. Though Mayor [Jerry] Treñas welcomed the Bayan Muna initiative in assisting the LGU (local government unit) in educating and feeding quarantined residents, this did not sit well with the PNP.”
“They prevent activists from doing volunteer work in fighting the pandemic, even to the extent of spreading blatant lies that food served by activists is contaminated with the COVID 19 virus. Apparently, the PNP gets instructions from their generals ignoring the policies of local chief executives,” Bayan Muna alleged.
Meanwhile, Jory’s son Lean Porquia expressed his grief over his Tatay‘s (“Father”) passing in a lengthy Facebook post. All Jory wanted was to help the poor, Lean said.
“They killed my tatay in the middle of a crisis when all he did was to give relief to those who need it. They killed my tatay, mercilessly. Nine gunshots to kill him, NINE! He was alone. He was defenseless. Today, my tatay was murdered. Whose innocent life are they going to kill next?” Lean wrote.
“How can I go home and grieve? How can we cry for justice when justice is elusive for people who fight for justice? I can only place my rage in words that mean nothing to those who killed you,” he added.
This article, Activist who helped Iloilo City’s hungry residents shot dead inside his own home, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!