‘People not willing to talk’ on death of Negros-based activist, says CHR
MANILA, Philippines — “People are not really willing to talk about what happened” when activist Zara Alvarez was shot dead, an official of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said Friday.
“At the moment there is not much lead considering that Zara is new in the area where she lives and that this is like a middle-class subdivision and people are not really willing to talk about what happened. Although, there were witnesses who saw the incident that happened,” CHR commissioner Leah Armamento told ABS-CBN News Channel.
Alvarez, a former education director of the human rights group Karapatan and a paralegal staff member in Negros Island, was shot in Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City on August 17.
According to Armamento, Alvarez was walking with two companions when two gunmen shot her thrice. She fell but was still conscious before three gunshots finished her off.
The gunmen then escaped the crime scene onboard a motorcycle that was parked near the area where she was killed.
Armamento said that so far, CHR investigators have not encountered any problem with police cooperation in its own investigation.
“The chief of police of Station 3 who has jurisdiction of the area gave their initial report to CHR investigators and said they will coordinate with the CHR on their findings,” she said.
Alvarez was reported to have been monitoring and documenting the killings and arrest of farmers, lawyers, and activists on Negros Island before she was killed.
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