By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Two activists were shot by the police while they were painting words on Banao bridge in Guinobatan, Albay on June 26 at 1:00 a.m., just hours before President Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address.
A photo by Bicol.PH shows an unfinished text which read, “DUTERTE IBAGS” on the bridge where Jemar Palero, 22 and Marlon Naperi, 38 were killed by by the police.
Palero was a member of Organisasyon ng mga Magsasaka sa Albay (OMA) while Naperi was part of human rights group Albay People’s Organization (APO).
Defend Bicol Stop the Attacks Network said the killing is “a brazen attack on human rights.”
“Dissent may take on many forms but to kill innocent unarmed civilians in the dead of the night for painting the people’s call is purely fascist and brutal,” the group said.
According to the report released by the Police Provincial Office of Albay, Palero and Naperi shot the roving police patrol car. Some firearms and ammunition were reportedly recovered from the two. Police said the two were brought to the hospital but later on died.
Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said that the police narrative of nanlaban and that weapons recovered from the two are not only ludicrously false but “unbelievable tall tales because both unarmed activists and they surely do not bear arms while doing graffiti.”
Concerned Artists of the Philippines and Karapatan also denounced the killing of Palero and Naperi.
“This regime reeking with brutality and impunity has to end now!” CAP said in a statement.
“Karapatan strongly decries this latest killing as yet another damning evidence of the bloody state of the nation under Duterte, where the right to life and freedom of expression, among other basic rights and liberties, are not only brazenly violated but violently suppressed,” Palabay added.