Pablo survivor, Barug Katawhan leader killed in Davao Oriental

March 4, 2013

Kagawad Cristina Jose of Brgy. Binondo, Bagangga Municipality, Davao Oriental (Kilab Multimedia)

Kagawad Cristina Jose of Brgy. Binondo, Baganga Municipality, Davao Oriental (Kilab Multimedia)

One of the community leaders who participated in the barricade and protest against government inaction amid intensifying hunger among typhoon victims in Davao City was shot dead today, March 4, 2013.

According to the human rights group Karapatan in Southern Mindanao, Cristina Morales Jose was shot dead by an unidentified motorcycle-riding assassin at around 6 p.m in Brgy. Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental after attending a barangay session.

Jose was  a barangay kagawad in Brgy. Binondo, as well as one of community leaders of the group Barug Katawhan and a survivor of typhoon Pablo.

“She intended to (go to) Davao to complain the blacklisting of those who joined the barricades in Montevista, Compostela Valley last January 15 and in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office in Davao City last Feb. 24 to 25,” said Karapatan-Southern Mindanao.

Prior to this, Jose and members of her community were reportedly harassed “by the barangay captain and the military from 67th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army,” said Hanimay Suazo, secretary general of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao.

Barricade of typhoon victims at the Montevista Highway in Compostela Valley to press the government to provide them with much-needed relief goods. (People's Lens)

Barricade of typhoon victims at the Montevista Highway in Compostela Valley to press the government to provide them with much-needed relief goods. (People’s Lens)

“She earlier exposed the food blockade and militarization of food assistance by the 67th Infantry Battalion,” Suazo added.

Jose participated in the barricade by thousands of typhoon survivors led by Barug Katawhan in front of the DSWD Regional Office. They condemned the refusal of the DSWD to distribute the promised 10,000 sacks of rice and other relief goods to the starving survivors.

The barricade led to the confiscation of relief goods reportedly hoarded by the DSWD.

“We should condemn the killing of Cristina Jose just as we have condemned the government agencies who were responsible for the aggravated suffering of the typhoon victims due to the non-delivery of much-needed food and relief. They demanded food and justice. Is this what the state will respond to their demands — kill their leaders?” said Suazo.