Friends, colleagues condemn killing of peace consultant

BULATLAT FILE PHOTO L-R: NDFP peace consultants Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, Benito Tiamzon, Randy Malayao, and Jaime Soledad in front of the Diliman Commune marker along University Avenue (Photo by Gino Estella/Bulatlat)

“First thing that struck me when I first met Randy was he towered over everyone. Gentle brown giant.”

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Colleagues, friends and rights activists are indignant over the killing of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant, Randy Felix Malayao, 49. He died on the spot after a gunman fired at him inside a bus while he was asleep at 2:30 a.m. today, Jan. 30.

The NDF-Cagayan Valley condemned the killing of Malayao and attributed the killing to what they call as the “death squad elements of 5th Infantry Division.”

“His death is the latest among the fascist US-Duterte regime’s attacks against the people, in a desperate and bloody attempt to fulfill his forecast that the revolutionary movement can be crushed by the middle of the year,” Salvador del Pueblo of NDF-Cagayan Valley said in a statement.

Del Pueblo said that Malayao, as peace consultant should not be harmed nor arrested as he was covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). It is an agreement signed by the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines protecting individuals like peace consultants and other people involved in the peace talks from arrests and harassments.

His brothers at the University of the Philippines Beta Sigma Fraternity – UP Visayas Chapter dubbed the killers as “traitor, brutal and coward.”

“The whole brotherhood of Beta Sigma in UP Visayas-Miagao is in rage and grief. The butchers took the life of a person whose dream is for peace and prosperity for our country,” Beta Sigma said in a statement.

“It hits you and you mourn, makes you momentarily catatonic with the shock of unbelievable. But Randy, we will one day wake up to the dawn of hope because the nights of rage will usher a morn of justice,” NDFP Negotiating Panel legal consultant Edre Olalia said.

Malayao was a consultant on Political and Constitutional Reforms Group for the NDFP Peace Panel.

‘Humble servant of the masses’

Photo from Danggayan Cagayan Valley

Del Pueblo described “Comrade Felix” as a “humble servant of the masses.”

“He spent 33 years of his life arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people against an unjust ruling system. He was an exemplary revolutionary, whose favorite motto was ‘Others First.’ He lived among the peasants and workers of Cagayan Valley, later serving as the region’s representative to the NDF-GRP Peace Talks, all the while performing other revolutionary duties,” del Pueblo said.

Fides Lim, wife of detained NDFP consultant Vicente Ladlad meanwhile described Malayao as “sharp, witty and funny” and “gentle brown giant.”

“First thing that struck me when I first met Randy was he towered over everyone. Gentle brown giant,” Lim said in her Facebook post.

“Sharp, witty, funny, beyond the ken of the pygmy brains who had him killed because they cannot understand sharp, witty, funny. Randy would not have liked the way he was killed, napping inside a bus on his way back from Nueva Vizcaya, 2:30 a.m. He would have wanted to look his killer straight in the eye. But that is the way of cowards who steal lives and don’t like argument,” she added.

His brothers from Beta Sigma also remembered him as a role model and wholeheartedly lived the spirit of brotherhood to serve God, the people, the university, the family, and the brotherhood.

‘Part of military operation’

Danggayan Cagayan Valley, a regional chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas also expressed their grief with Malayao’s killing. They called him as a great child of Cagayan Valley who dedicated his life for freedom and democracy.

“We will persist amid the worsening brutality brought about by this regime’s counterinsurgency program,” Danggayan said in a statement.

It added that Malayao’s murder was part of the military operations in the region “which resulted in series of murders, attempted murder, bombing of the peasant community, forced suicide and evacuation, filing of acts of conduct, illegal arrest , accusations and harassment of citizen organizations.”

Karapatan also called for justice for Malayao and all victims of extrajudicial killings. They attributed Malayao’s killing, as with the deaths of Fr. Marcelito Paez, Atty. Benjamin Ramos and many others “in the counterinsurgency program and the sham drug war, to the death squads of the Duterte regime, which has ceaselessly incited and ordered the killing of peace and human rights advocates, peasants and indigenous peoples, the urban poor, church people and many others.” (https://www.bulatlat.com)

Read also: Randy Malayao: Campus journalist and ‘fisher of men’* 

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