Slain activist’s family, allies want him included in EJK probe
MANILA, Philippines — Friends and relatives of slain Bayan Muna Iloilo coordinator Jory Porquia have urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to include the late activist in its investigation of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
On Monday, people who went to DOJ wanted this case included in the cases covered by Administrative Order 35, which established the inter-agency committee to investigate and resolve cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and other human rights violations.
Rep. Carlos Zarate said Porquia’s involvement with Bayan Muna is the only reason he was killed due to his advocacy. That’s why he thinks that the DOJ should look into the effects of red-tagging.
“This red-tagging has erased the line between legal organizations and those considered by the government as underground or illegal. This is wrong [on] so many levels. Activists are civilians; they are not combatants and should not be subject to any counter-insurgency methods,” Zarate said in a statement.
“We don’t see any other reason why Jory is killed other than his involvement and the work he has done as Bayan Muna coordinator of Iloilo City,” he added.
Porquia’s son Lean Porquia, meanwhile, finds it hard to see why local police do not want to solve the case. Zarate stressed that the older Porquia was one of the many activists killed — an issue that he believes should have raised the alarm on EJKs.
“It seems that they don’t want to resolve the case; they seem to be uninterested in investigating who are the perpetrators and prosecute the criminals. We don’t even know what case number in the logbook of the PNP or if he even does have one,” he explained.
“After Jory was killed, there was Randall Echanis, and then Zara Alvarez; the list goes on, but why is there no sense of urgency in resolving these extra-judicial killings?” Zarate asked.
Porquia was reported shot dead on April 30, 2020, by two unknown assailants inside his rented home in Iloilo City. The gunmen have not been identified to date.
Porquia’s death sparked rallies in Iloilo City despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced police officers to arrest some protesters, including the victim’s daughter.
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