Wednesday, November 08, 2006

CONTEND Statement on Killing of Dr. Rodrigo Catayong

Rage Against this Madness!
Justice for Dr. Rodrigo Catayong, Professor of Eastern Samar State University
Justice for All Victims of Political Killings and Repression
November 7, 2006

6:15 a.m., Sunday morning, last November 5, 2006, Dr. Rodrigo Catayong, 55, was about to hear mass with his wife when two bonnet-wearing assailants shot him dead. Police reports disclose that he suffered eight gunshot wounds – four in the face, twice in the chest, once in the neck and back. Seeing her husband bloodied and lifeless, Marcela, 54, collapsed. On a beautiful Sunday morning and about to give thanks to God for her husband's 55th birthday just two days earlier, witnessing the gruesome assassination of her husband must have been the last thing on her mind.

For everyone who knew Dr. Catayong, his manner of death must have been totally unexpected as well. They knew that he had his convictions like many who pursue a life of the mind. He was an officer of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and was elected as Chairperson of Katungod-Eastern Samar, a provincial human rights organization. However, he was also a fulltime Professor with a doctorate degree and expertise in sericulture at the Eastern Samar State University. Like many of us in the academe, he also served in the administration of the state university as the College and University Secretary. For sure, overseeing the Board of Regents meetings and running the day-to-day affairs of the College as Secretary occupied most of his time over and above the teaching duties he may have had. That is why when his name was included in a divulged anti-communist hitlist along with one public school elementary teacher, two other professors from the state university, a local media man, a policeman and leaders of progressive party-list organizations, even a town mayor; no one believed anyone would pull such sinister designs against him and much less mark him as the first target.

But this is the madness that pervades the Philippine countryside under Arroyo's all-out-war against so-called communists. Almost 800 have been victimized by this "dirty war" since the beginning of her term. In the last few months, these state-sponsored liquidation squads have taken on a more brazen countenance. Undeterred by international criticism, they have felled bishops and priests (Bishop Alberto Ramento), lawyers (Atty. Felicito Dacut), and now teachers and professors. We already count eight among our ranks who have been killed by these death squads (Leima Fortu, Victoria Samonte, Gabriel Casuga, John Lingkuran, Rodrigo Apolinar, Napoleon Pornasdoro, Danilo Hagosojos and now Dr. Rodrigo Catayong). Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen EmpeƱo remain missing months after they were abducted. What is common among all of them is their unwavering conviction for truth and justice.

This week alone, armed men barged into Emerlito Dizon's home in Zambales and shot him in front of his wife and kids. The peasant leader managed to survive and is now recuperating in a local hospital. Last November 1, policemen raided a convent of the Good Shepherd Nuns in Agusan del Sur without any search warrant.

The blood and gore of GMA's policy to "neutralize" dissent has reached our courts, our churches, our convents and our schools. Unless we reason and rage against this madness, there will come a time when no profession will be safe and no place can be a sanctuary for freedom-loving Filipinos under the iron-hand rule of an illegitimate president hell-bent in holding on to power.

Hustisya para kay Dr. Rodrigo Catayong!
Hustisya para sa lahat ng mga biktima ng pulitikal na pamamaslang at represion
Patalsikin si Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo


Anonymous said...

I know that you will not post this but Dr. Rodrigo Catayong was killed by the NPA because he was about to sell his families land that the NPA has been occupying. This killing prevented this sale and also promoted the cause of the NPA by blaming the government. Dr. Catayong was a supporter of human rights but not a supporter of the NPA.

ryan neil ty, cebu city said...

dr. rodrigo catayong was murder by cowards who have no guts to fight face to face. long before he became active as a human rights defender he was just an ordinary simple abiding citizen. when i was a kid in the early eigthy's dr. catayong was mauled, beaten badly because he happenned to pass by a group of army soldeir drinking in our town plaza a few meters, where he was gunned. he was on his way home after buying some stuff they will sell in their sarisari store. a case of beer he was carrying was used to beat him up, some of this bottles ended up being thrown into our house/store by the all powerfull and abusive army. i just want to ask the military, the bantay party list of jjovito palparan and anad of jun alcover, the people who uses deciet and treachery and violence and who abuse their power, is it a crime if the people will look for justice when thay are abused? to mr. jovito palaparan what happened to the soldiers who mauled dr. catayong can you help him get justice also.