International human rights network cautions against intensified election-related violence after killings of partylist
members in Sorsogon
ICHRP Statement on the Patungan Incident and include the Sorsogon Killings
The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, a global network of various organizations investigating
the human rights situation in the Philippines, vigorously condemned the killing of an elderly couple in Sorsogon who
were known political activists connected to the partylist group, Anakpawis.
Rosemarie Galias, 68, and Silvestre Fortades Jr, 70, were killed by four motorcycle riding gunmen in Barcelona, Sorsogon
on January 15, 2022. Both were members of Anakpawis, the progressive partylist which represents the interests of
peasants and workers in Congress, as part of the Makabayan Bloc.
“The murder of the elderly political activist couple, is the beginning of state murders in the presidential election
campaign period, and must be vigorously condemned,” said ICHRP Chairperson Peter Murphy. “Our heart goes out to the
families and comrades of these two martyrs of the people’s cause," he added.
The students, peasants, workers and human rights organisations in Sorsogon and the whole Bicol Region have suffered
terrible repression during the Duterte period. Up to August last year, there were 60 political killings in Bicol out of
a total of 421 nationwide. There are also 43 political prisoners from the region, 10 of whome are women, and 29 have
been arrested during the Duterte presidency.
The Sorsogon killings come in the heels of the illegal arrest and detention of five residents in the fishing community
of Patungan Cove in Cavite after a violent demolition on January 13.
“ICHRP is gravely concerned that the repression under Duterte which we have investigated thoroughly last year will only
intensify in this election campaign period because the President’s strategy to protect himself politically with the next
President has already fallen apart,” said Murphy.
“ICHRP shares the grave concerns of Filipinos at the prospect of a Marcos presidency and is on high alert to expose
violations of human rights, intimidation and cheating in the campaign now unfolding,” Murphy concluded.