Human rights lawyer shot dead in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental
A human rights lawyer was shot to death by two men riding-in-tandem in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.
Ben Ramos, 56, secretary-general for the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)-Negros, was standing in front of a store at about 10 p.m. when attacked. He suffered four gunshot wounds.
Ramos was tagged as a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines in a flyer circulated in April 2018 in Negros Occidental.
He was a lawyer of the Mabinay 6 and part of the Quick Reaction Team that assisted the peasants in Sagay, Negros.
“We are shocked, devastated and enraged at the premeditated cold-blooded murder of our colleague and fellow people’s lawyer,” NUPL president Edre Olalia said in a statement.
“The killing of our beloved, adorably husky-voiced zany, Ben has distressed all of us,” Olalia said.
Olalia described Ramos as “battle-scarred and seemingly undaunted and impervious to threats and dangers while courageously, even at times audaciously, running against the tide of daily injustice, oppression and repression in defense of the defenseless and persecuted.”
He added that Ramos was “the ‘go-to’ pro-bono lawyer of peasants, environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations.”
The NUPL president said Ramos, along with other NUPL lawyers and officers, received threats and harassment online, on top of being red-tagged.
Olalia said they would continue their advocacy despite the threats.
“It is a painful price we have to pay in the service of the people and a pledge to the next generation we will leave behind,” Olalia said. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.