Amnesty International is deeply alarmed by the recent escalation of attacks against human rights defenders and activists in the Philippines. On 1 May, Archad Ayao, an investigator for the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, was shot dead in Cotabato City, southern Philippines, by a still unidentified gunman. On 22 April, human rights worker and local politician Bernardino Patigas was gunned down in Escalante City, Negros Occidental. Hours later, several of his colleagues — including Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay — received threatening text messages from an unknown person warning them that they are likewise targeted to be killed this year.
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