Bikolanos, intensify the people’s struggle! Frustrate US-Duterte regime’s latest surge of attacks this election period!

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Relatives of slain couple Sylvestre Fortades, Jr., 70 years old and Rosemarie Galias, 68 years old, both active members of Anakpawis Partylist and SAMASOR-KMP cry for justice. The senior citizens were gunned down by unidentified men in Brgy. San Vicente, Barcelona, Sorsogon last January 15. This is the first case of extrajudicial killing this 2022. Fortades and Galias are the 227th and 228th victim of political killings in the region since Duterte began his term. This marks the rise in cases and victims especially now that the elections is fast approaching.

Just like its predecessors, the US-Duterte regime is merciless in its ceaseless elimination of anyone who stands in the way of Duterte’s desire to remain in power and elect whoever has his blessings in the upcoming elections. Bikol consistently sees high numbers of political killings as it moves towards elections. From January to June 12, 2019, during the mid-term elections under Duterte, the region has recorded 22 victims of extrajudicial killings. Four of which were victims of a massacre.

US-Duterte regime’s desperation to silence his political rivals knows no bounds. Even to the extent of overlooking the rapid spread of Covid-19 Omicron variant just to continue assailing and killing the Bikolano people who fight for their rights. This shall worsen the region’s record as the massacre and extrajudicial killing capital of the country. From July 2016 to December 2021, the region has already recorded 226 victims of political killing.

The US-Duterte regime is well aware that he cannot easily stifle the Bikolanos who are unwavering in their struggle and defense of their rights. That is why Duterte bets his last card in an attempt to curb the mounting rage of the Bikolanos against him.

Along with the condemnation of this recent political killing, NDF-Bikol calls on all Bikolanos to intensify their fight against US-Duterte regime’s schemes to undermine the people’s unities in the region. It is just for them to try creative ways in order to rise above the even more repressive restrictions and lockdown and be able to launch protests and mobilizations that shall carry the people’s demands forward. Now is the time to further strengthen the people’s unity. Duterte may use up all his bullets to suppress the infuriated Bikolanos but thousands upon thousands shall continue to rise in the felled Bikolanos’ places and shall struggle against his nefarious intentions.

Bikolanos, intensify the people’s struggle! Frustrate US-Duterte regime’s latest surge of attacks this election period!
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