FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Duterte
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte defended his administration against accusations of involvement in the murder of human rights lawyer Ben Ramos.
Ramos was among the founding members of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), a group of lawyers who provide legal assistance to victims of human rights violations.
Ramos was also among the lawyers who were helping the families of the slain sugarcane farmers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental.
The President said there is no reason for his government to do such a crime.
“But in the process killing people and including ‘yung abogado nila. Kami pa ang pagbibintangan ang gobyerno. What the f***** s**? Why would I kill a lawyer? Napaka small time ninyo naman. Why would I assassinate him? For what?” the President exclaimed during a speech in the awarding of certificates of land ownership to agrarian reform beneficiaries in Boracay on Thursday (November 8).
Instead, the President blamed the communist rebels as those behind the murder of the lawyer and the Sagay farmers.
“Noong nalaman ng komunista, sumali rin sila at nakipag — gusto nila ang kanilang land reform. Ke tenant ka o hindi, papasok sila then they will invite others to join the fray. But in the process killing people and including ‘yung abogado nila,” he said.
He, however, assured that land grabbers will not prevail under his administration.
“Whether you have a lawyer or not, you cannot occupy somebody else’s land by force and intimidation. I will not allow it. That’s anarchy. Kaya ‘pag pumasok kayo, my orders to the police and the military, evict them. Evict them out physically and if they choose to fight, kill them,” the President warned.
Ramos was shot dead by still unidentified gunmen in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental last Tuesday evening (November 6). – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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