“They killed my tatay, mercilessly. Nine gunshots to kill him, nine! He was alone. He was defenseless.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – A leader of Bayan Muna Party-list was gunned down in Iloilo City this morning, April 30.
Panay Today reported that witnesses heard several gunshots and saw men wearing masks at barangay Sto, Nino, Arevalo District, Iloilo City.
Jory Porquia sustained nine gunshots according to his son, Lean.
“They killed my tatay, mercilessly. Nine gunshots to kill him, nine! He was alone. He was defenseless,” Lean said in his post in social media.
Siegfred D. Deduro, Bayan Muna vice president for Visayas, suspects that perpetrators are state agents. He said Porquia was harassed by members of Iloilo police prior his killing.
Porquia was leading the relief operations and education campaign on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the poor communities in Iloilo City, which is also placed under enhanced community quarantine.
Deduro said that while Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas welcomed initiatives in educating and feeding the residents who are under the ECQ, these did not sit well with the police.
“They prevent activists in doing volunteer work in fighting the pandemic, even to the extent of spreading blatant lies that food served by activists is contaminated with COVID-19 virus. Apparently, the Philippine National Police gets instructions from their generals ignoring the policies of local chief executives,” Deduro said in a statement.
Colleagues and friends of Porquia strongly condemned the killing and demanded justice.
Porquia was an activist since martial law. After the Edsa People Power in 1986, Porquia served as officer-in-charge of the National Youth Commission under then President Cory Aquino.
Eventually, Porquia became an overseas Filipino worker, organizing and advocating for Filipino migrants’ rights. When he returned to the Philippines, he helped form Migrante chapter in Panay. He was also one of the founders of Bayan Muna in the province.
“Jory is a great loss to the progressive movement for social transformation, but will inspire Bayan Muna members and all activists to persist in advancing ‘new politics’ against the tyrannical rule of the current administration,” said Deduro.
Clarizza Singson of Karapatan Negros who knew Porquia since she was a student described him as jolly and artistic person.
“Kaupod Jory, you will be missed by the masses whom you served and loved!” Singson said in her social media post.
Meanwhile, Lean remembered his father as someone who has always been there when needed.
“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,” Lean said.