Published: March 5, 2013
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned the Aquino government today for the extra-judicial killing of a leader of the Davao food protest yesterday afternoon, saying the government is becoming more desperate in trying to thwart protests against its policies.
Cristina Morales Jose, a kagawad of Barangay Binondo of Baganga town, Davao Oriental, was shot dead yesterday on her way home from a barangay council meeting. She is a survivor of supertyphoon Pablo and a member of partylist group Bayan Muna and Barug Katawhan!, the alliance of Pablo survivors.
Jose exposed the food blockade and militarization of relief operations by the military’s 67th Infantry Battalion and was planning to go to Davao to complain about the blacklisting of participants of the Jan. 15 Compostela Valley barricade and the Feb. 25 Davao food protest.
Upon returning home from the Davao food protest, Jose was subjected to harassment by the barangay captain and the military.
“We cry for justice for our comrade Cristina Morales Jose. Aside from the fact that she was a victim of Pablo, she was also a victim of the Aquino government’s insufficient relief drive, of its violence and black propaganda, and now of its policy of extra-judicial killing,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Her death clearly illustrates how the Aquino government, through Oplan Bayanihan, is using violence against leaders of successful protests. Instead of addressing the people’s suffering, this government is trying to repress those who stand up to find relief for the people’s suffering,” he said.
“At the same time, we pay tribute to Cristina Morales Jose. She is a martyr, a hero of the Filipino workers and people. Her death indicts the Aquino government and the country’s socio-economic system,” he added.
KMU noted that Jose was killed a few days before the country marks International Women’s Day on March 8.
“It’s like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still the country’s president. Activists are being killed and in ways that highlight the government and the military’s impunity,” Labog said.
“The killing of Jose will fail to scare the people of Mindanao into submission and weaken their protests. As long as poverty, hunger and suffering continue to intensify, protests will also intensify and leaders like Jose will continue to emerge from the people’s ranks,” he added.