By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — At around past 6:00 PM yesterday, despite the biting cold, students of the University of the Philippines Baguio together with human rights defenders lit candles in an indignation rally at the university’s oblation ground to condemn and demand justice for the killing of National Democratic Front of the Philippines Consultant Randy Malayao.
It can be recalled that Malayao was shot dead twice on his face while he was sleeping inside a bus parked at a bus stop in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya dawn yesterday. He was on his way home. The assailants who run away aboard a motorcycle remain unidentified.
Malayao’s remains are now home in San Pablo, Isabela.
Christian Dave Ruz, coordinator of Kabataan Partylist Cordillera said that Malayao offering his life for peace and nation building is what the oblation stands for. “Randy Malayo offered his life as an ultimate sacrifice for peace, this is the true meaning of oblation,” he said.
Ruz extended his condolences to the family, friends and collegues of Malayao. He said that Malayao is a great loss to the country. He said that the country loss another peace advocate.
“Let us turn our grief into rage as we seek justice for Randy Malayao,” Ruz added.
In a statement, Beta Sigma fraternity in UPB honored Malayao and took pride of having him as a brother.
“He sought peace amidst the chaos and saw light amidst the darkness. We are in grief, shocked, and angered at the injustice caused by the people who took our brother from us,” the statement read.
Malayao is among the founding members of Beta Sigma fraternity at the University of the Philippines Visayas.
The young Betans at UP Baguio said that Malayao has spent most of his life at the fronts lines of the fight for the defense of human rights and working peace.
Malayao they said is “undoubtedly, the true epitome of all what is good and noble in man”.
“Today we remember his love for his country and its men. Today we remember his fight through the years. Today we continue the fight Randy started. Today will be an eternal reminder to fight for what is right at all costs. Today we remember Randy as a hero,” the Betans said.
Fidel Agcaoili, chair of the NDFP negotiating panel in an emailed statement expressed outrage over the “brutal muder” of Malayao as he condoled with his family, friends and collegues.
“…we give him our highest honor for his invaluable contributions to the revolutionary movement and the NDFP’s peace efforts,” Agcaoili said.
“He was an indefatigable worker in the service of the people and was ever ready to present the side of the NDFP in fora, seminars and consultations on the peace talks in the Philippines and overseas,” he added.
Malayao is the youngest of the NDFP peace consultants at 49. Unlike most other NDFP peace consultants, Malayao had no criminal charges before government courts, which allowed him to move freely around the country to attend peace-related activities.
He was arrested, a torture victim and a political prisoner for years under the Macapagal-Arroyo regime. The court acquitted him of all the charges.
Attack on peace
Agcaoili said that as an NDFP consultant, Malayao is covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantee (JASIG) which should have protected him from arrests and attacks.
“Ka Randy’s brazen murder indicates an escalation of attacks against peace consultants and serves as a further serious obstacle to the resumption of the peace negotiations with the Duterte government,” Agcaoili said.
Agcaoili added that many of the NDFP consultants have already been arbitrarily arrested and slapped with trumped up charges that include Vic Ladlad, Adel Silva and Rey Casambre among others.
“The NDFP Negotiating Panel remains committed to the attainment of a just and last peace in the Philippines through peace negotiations. The militarist and terrorist government of Duterte, however, is hell-bent in sabotaging the pursuit for just peace as it intensifies attacks against the NDFP and enables brazen acts such as the murder of Ka Randy,” Agcaoili said. # nordis.net