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Duterte slams critics blaming admin for slay of Sagay farmers’ lawyer

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 11/8/2018 Bordadora, Norman
Rodrigo Duterte smiling for the camera: President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the People's Day celebration in Socorro, Oriental Mindoro on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, underscoring the need for a friendly approach to addressing territorial disputes with China in order to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Toto Lozano/PPD © Toto Lozano/PPD President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the People's Day celebration in Socorro, Oriental Mindoro on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, underscoring the need for a friendly approach to addressing territorial disputes with China in order to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Toto Lozano/PPD

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night slammed critics blaming his administration for the killing of human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos.

Ramos, secretary-general of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers-Negros Occidental chapter, was gunned downed by motorcycle-riding men in Kabankalan City on Tuesday night.

He was one of the lawyers helping the families of the nine members of a farmers' group who were killed in Sagay, Negros Occidental, last month after they reportedly tried to occupy a portion of Hacienda Nene in Barangay Bulanon.

"'Yung abogado nila kami pa ang pagbibitangan, ang gobyerno. What the f—k! Sh-t. Why would I kill a lawyer? Why would I assassinate him? For what?" Duterte said in a speech before land reform beneficiaries in popular tourist destination Boracay. 

"Whether you have a lawyer or not you cannot occupy somebody else's land by force and intimidation. I will not allow it. That's anarchy."

Following his death, former Bayan Muna party-list representative and NUPL chairperson Neri Colmenares on Wednesday linked Duterte's red-tagging or branding of human rights workers as communists to the killing.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes said Ramos' killing proves the prevailing state of impunity in the country. The Palace then hit back at them, calling their allegations "irresponsible" and "baseless."

The Philippine National Police, meanwhile, said they are looking into Ramos' defense of farmers in land disputes and his alleged gambling activities as possible motives for the killing. —NB, GMA News

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