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WATCHING HIS BACK

‘Running priest’ says he is under surveillance

LUCENA CITY — Activist priest Robert Reyes said he was under constant surveillance and harassment from suspicious people and now lived like a hunted person.

“I am now carefully watching my back. I stay away from home and have been seeking refuge in different houses,” Reyes, a fierce critic of President Rodrigo Duterte and spokesperson for the group Gomburza, said in a phone interview on Sunday night.

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Suspicious ‘balut’ vendors

Gomburza, the cause-oriented organization of priests, nuns, brothers and laity known as the vanguard of church activism during martial law, has become active anew and joined the ranks of militant critics of the Duterte administration.

Reyes, who earned the moniker “running priest” for organizing long-distance runs for social causes, disclosed that motorcycle-riding men had been casing his family’s house in Malabon since last year.

“[T]here were also suspicious ‘balut’ vendors … in front of our house, but they [did not] yell the usual ‘balut, penoy!” he added.

But despite the threats, Reyes said he would not stop his militant activism against the President’s policies.

He said what he had been experiencing “is part of the systematic harassment aimed at his (Duterte) critics.”

“I am not afraid of you. Stop Tokhang and the killing of the weak, poor and defenseless. Stop disrespecting women and your rough speech that is unbecoming of a President,” he said.

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TAGS: drug killings, EJKs, extrajudicial killings, Gomburza, Robert reyes, Rodrigo Duterte, Running priest, war on drugs
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