October 7, 2014
Reference: Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate, 09177174014
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate filed on Thursday House Resolution 1545, to investigate the September 29 frustrated slay of Dexter Ian Selebrado, a peasant community organizer and anti-pork barrel activist in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Selebrado was shot twice by men riding-in-tandem as he was coming home from an interprovincial launch of the People’s Initiative to Abolish the Pork Barrel (PIAP) on Monday, September 29, 2014.
The resolution directs the House Committee on Human Rights to investigate not only Selebrado’s case, but also that of previous attacks and harassments on other activists in a move to protect and uphold the People’s Initiative movement against the corrupt pork barrel system.
The resolution said Selebrado’s case is “yet another proof of the persisting vilification campaign against members of progressive organizations and also proof of the continuing state of impunity in our country that, time and again, have been condemned strongly and repeatedly by national and international human rights groups.”
“The attack on Selebrado is alarming not only as an event in itself, but as the latest in a series of attacks on activists. This is an attack on the movement to exercise the democratic right of all to the People’s Initiative against pork barrel,” said Rep. Zarate, a long time human rights lawyer in Davao before joining the 16th Congress as Bayan Muna representative.
Selebrado sustained serious injuries in the nape and upper pelvis, and was placed in critical condition. Various groups that participated in the People’s Initiative Against Pork Barrel, which has been holding launches all over the country in the past months to gather at least 10 million signatures, have called upon the administration to probe into the attack. Selebrado himself has pointed to the military as the only possible perpetrators behind the failed attack on his life.
“We condemn this violent act and will push for the investigation and punishment of the perpetrators behind Selebrado’s attack,” Rep. Zarate ended.###