Albay activists killed by cops laid to rest
GUINOBATAN, ALBAY—Jaymar Palero and Marlon Napire, the two activists who were killed by police officers on July 26 after spray-painting an anti-Duterte slogan at a bridge here on the eve of the President’s last State of the Nation Address, have been laid to their final resting places in this town amid continuing calls from their families for justice.
Palero was laid to rest in Guinobatan Catholic Cemetery on Wednesday while Napire was buried on Tuesday.
Palero’s burial was attended by various progressive groups in Albay, farmers and his fellow habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) drivers from Catomag village in this town.
Jennifer Palero, Jaymar’s mother, said she still found it difficult to accept his death as her son was well-loved in their community.
Some 30 habal-habal drivers led the funeral procession from Our Lady of Assumption Parish to the cemetery.
Jayson Musa, a habal-habal driver, said he and Palero would also sideline at the construction site when there were no passengers or when the slain activist was not farming.
“We are deeply saddened by this,” Musa told Inquirer. “Life is hard these days and this is what happened to him. He was not just a colleague; he was a true friend. We were always helping each other out.”
Anastacio Barotillo, 48, holding back tears, said Palero would always call him when there were farm products that they had to transport.
“He was very helpful and kind. He was like a brother,” Barotillo told Inquirer.The Albay People’s Organization (APO) said in a statement that although the activists’ bodies had been placed in their final resting places, their spirits would not be silenced.
“The Albayanos’ anger will turn into a raging torrent against the fascist Duterte administration to continue—with courage and determination—what the two have started,” APO chair AJ Gomez said in the statement.
Gomez also said the two activists were tortured before they were killed judging from the bullet wounds on the backs and body marks.
“It’s a perversion and cowardice to kill just because of spray-painting a legitimate call to Albayanos,” he said.
The policemen involved in the killing have since been relieved from their posts. The police and the National Bureau Investigation have started separate probes into the incident. —REY ANTHONY OSTRIA
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