ROMUALDO “WALDO” PALISPIS
· 51 years old, married with three children
· Chair of the Justice and Peace Action Group (JPAG)
· Convenor of the Task Force “Walang Hatian ang Bayan ng Maria Aurora” (Do not Divide Maria Aurora Town)
· Assistant Officer of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Maria Aurora
· Member of Bayan Muna partylist
Place of Incident :
At the Palispis residence, Barangay 3, Maria Aurora town proper, Aurora province
Date of Incident :
June 30, 2012
Alleged Perpetrators :
Two men in motorcycle suspected to be state security forces or have links to
Account of the Incident: From the Factsheet prepared by the Justice and Peace Action Group (JPAG) Aurora
On June 30, 2012, at around 8 pm, Romualdo Palispis, or Waldo, was relaxing in front of his home, playing the guitar, when he was shot in the head. A witness said that two men on a motorcycle stopped a few meters from Waldo’s house, which was surrounded by a concrete fence. Both suspects were wearing motorcycle helmets. One of the men got off and inserted a gun through a hole in the fence, and fired at Waldo, who was hit in the back of his head, with the bullet exiting through one of his eyes. Waldo’s wife Sol rushed him to the nearby Maria Aurora Municipal Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
On June 29, at around 8 pm, Waldo’s neighbour noticed that two men on the same motorcycle passed by three times and stopped for a while in front of Waldo’s house.
Waldo had been the municipal chair of JPAG Maria Aurora chapter since 2002.
Recently, Waldo led the opposition against a proposed law splitting the municipality of Maria Aurora to create the Dr. Juan C. Angara municipality as the ninth town of Aurora province. House Bill 3225 was filed by Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara in the House of Representatives, while Senate Bill 3132 was filed by four senators in the senate.
In May this year, Waldo was one of the convenors of the Task Force “Walang Hatian ang bayan ng Maria Aurora”, which assailed the bills as part of the projects being pushed by the Angara family in the province. Gov. Bella Angara is pushing for the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Free Port (APECO) project in Casiguran, Aurora. Waldo is among the leaders of groups expressing the people’s opposition to the project due to the extreme adverse consequences of these to the rural people and environment.
The Task Force had started a series of community assemblies and spurred village resolutions opposing the said bills, and also gathered support from various local groups. The group also started a petition- signing campaign against the bills.
Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the extrajudicial killing of Romualdo Palispis.
The military to stop the labelling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”
The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians
The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.
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