Philippines: Peace advocate gunned down in yet another targeted killing
Responding to news that peace advocate Randy Felix Malayao was gunned down by an unidentified man on 30 January while on board a bus in northern Philippines, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Global Operations, Minar Pimple, said:
“The cold-blooded murder of Malayao is yet another addition to the growing list of political activists who have been attacked and killed in the country.
The cold-blooded murder of Malayao is yet another addition to the growing list of political activists who have been attacked and killed in the country.
“Malayao had been involved in peace negotiations between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. His killing comes at a time when political activists in the country have become regular targets of violent attacks, and in a climate in which such killings are being normalised under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Alarmingly, ties to leftist or communist groups, perceived or otherwise, have given some an apparent license to kill.
“Such attacks are yet another example of how public safety and security in the Philippines are being eroded. The wave of killings must stop. The Philippine authorities must fully investigate the murder of Malayao, as well as the murders of many other activists that have been killed since this administration took power. The government must bring those responsible to justice.“
According to news reports, Randy Felix Malayao was shot dead by an unidentified man when the passenger bus he was riding made a stop in Aritao town, Nueva Vizcaya, on 30 January. The suspect reportedly boarded the bus around 2 a.m. and fired two shots at Malayao, who was asleep.
Malayao was a consultant on political and constitutional reforms for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), a coalition of groups involved in an ongoing insurgency in parts of the country. The NDFP has long been engaged in peace negotiations with the Philippine government. Malayao joined the negotiations in Europe under President Rodrigo Duterte, before the peace talks were cancelled by the president.
In February 2018, Malayao was among over 650 individuals that the Philippine Department of Justice asked a court to declare as ‘terrorists’. His name was eventually removed from the list. In 2008, he was imprisoned for over four years under the administration of then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on murder charges, which activist groups have described as politically motivated.