The senseless killing of fair trade activist Romeo ‘Romy’ Capalla trampled upon his right to life as he envisioned a just and humane society for the poor and the oppressed.
Alarmed by this brazen act, we remain undaunted by the series of extra-judicial killing currently haunting the ranks of activists, advocates, and members of civil society groups who are vocal in condemning the evils of this society.
Romy, the younger brother of former head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Archbishop Fernando Capalla was fatally shot twice from behind in the head at the public market of Oton,Iloilo last March 15,2014. His 92-year-old mother-in-law even begged for the life of Romy from the assassins but the plea merely fell on deaf ears.
Capalla’s assassins exhibited mastery and preciseness in eliminating their target. Such execution is comparable to the implementation of Operation Bantay Laya 1 and 2 which claimed the lives of nearly a thousand activists in the legal and democratic movement during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Romy is known to his family, relatives, friends, and co-workers as a man of humility. He was among the heroes of anti-dictatorship movement during the dark says of martial law, a situation which placed his life and that of his family in peril, leaving him no option then but to go underground.
Shortly after martial law, Romy lived a quiet life. He began helping the poor particularly through the Panay Fair Trade Center (PFTC), advocating fair trade and producing organic food. He was dedicated in working for the people, particularly the peasants of PFTC in their program to export certified organic muscovado sugar and banana chips in international fair trade centers and markets. He started in 1994 as a worker until he became its manager . He was Chairperson of the Board of Directors when Romy was killed.
We, therefore, join Archbishop’s Fernando Capalla call in condemning the killing of Romeo by the wicked people allegedly belonging to and under the direction of the government armed forces. This evil deed must be punished. We lament that gross human rights violations - killings, abductions, torture, illegal arrests and detention - continue to run unabated to this day under President Aquino’s administration. Political killings and enforced disappearances are carried on with impunity as no one has been brought to court and held accountable for these human rights violations. Therefore we demand to:
UPHOLD LIFE AND END IMPUNITY!
DECLARE ROMEO CAPALLA A MARTYR!
GIVE JUSTICE TO ROMEO CAPALLA AND ALL VICTIMS OF EXTRA JUDICIAL EXECUTION!