Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Willem Geertman, 67, a well-loved Dutch community worker and executive director of Alay Bayan-Luzon, Inc. (ABI) was shot dead by two motorcycle riding men believed to be military agents in front of his office in Sto. Domingo, Angeles City Pampanga


CANADA-PHILIPPINES SOLIDARITY
FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (CPSHR)
1-5687 West Blvd Vancouver, BC Canada




July 4, 2012
CPSHR Statement on the Killing of Willem Geertman, 
a well-loved Dutch Community Worker

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR) vehemently condemns the killing of Willem Geertman, 67, a well-loved community worker and executive director of Alay Bayan-Luzon, Inc. (ABI).  ABI is a non-government organization that works on community-based and development-oriented responses in addressing the vulnerabilities stemming from poverty, powerlessness, environmental degradation and political abuse. Together with other environmental and civic organizations, Geertman and the ABI campaigned for disaster risk reduction and environmental concerns in Central Luzon.

On July 3, 2012 at about 1:00 in the afternoon, Willem Geertman, was shot dead by two motorcycle riding men believed to be military agents in front of his office in Sto. Domingo, Angeles City Pampanga.

Willem Geertman is now the second European national killed under Aquino government.  In October 2011, a 59-year old Italian missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed in Mindanao, Philippines.  What did the victims have in common?  Both have devoted their lives in community development, serving the most marginalized peasants and farmers in land rights and environmental protection issues and concerns particularly on logging and mining.

The brutal killing of Willem Geertman showed the continuing policy of the Aquino government on physical elimination of socially-active civilians by State security agents. It shows that Oplan Bayanihan which deceptively focuses on “peace and development” is actually giving protection for the interest of
mining and agribusiness corporations despite the environmental destruction, economic dislocation and displacement of the people in the affected areas.

CPSHR, joins the call for justice for Willem Geertman and for all victims of extrajudicial killings. The Philippine government is a party to human rights instruments and international conventions and as such, it has made commitment not to sanction the practice of enforced disappearance and extra-judicial killings or tolerate such atrocities.

CPSHR calls on the Philippine Government to immediately launch a thorough investigation to expose the circumstances surrounding his death. They must leave no stone unturned in these investigations and must punish all perpetrators.

Justice for Willem Geertman!
Stop the killings! End impunity!
Long live international solidarity!


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