The family of slain anti-coal plant activist has sought the help of President Rodrigo Duterte for justice, a week after victim Gloria Capitan, 57, was killed by an assassin in Bataan.
At a press conference on Friday in Quezon City, Capitan’s family appealed to Duterte to dig into the bottom of the case.
Human rights defenders and leaders of human rights organizations also joined Capitan’s family in the call for justice.
On July 1, 2016, two unidentified motorcycle-riding attackers shot Capitan at her house in Barangay Lucanin in Mariveles town. One of the riders shot the victim three times. She died on the way to a nearby hospital.
Capitan was the President of Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Lucanin (SNML), a community organization that is critical of the coal plant and coal storage facilities located inside the Seafront Shipyard and Port Terminal Services Corporation, just in their neighborhood.
The plant is owned by the Limay Bulk and Terminal Handling Corp. in Mariveles.
Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) vice-chairperson Fidel Fababier, who was also at the press conference on Friday, claimed that Capitan’s death cannot be divorced from her work as an enviromental defender.
Fababier was referring to the pollution and diseases brought about by the continuous operation of the two open coal storage facilities in Mariveles.
Data from documentation efforts that have been undertaken since 2015 showed that Capitan had faced intimidation and threats due to her fight against the coal facility in their community.
She had led the community in filing a petition urging the government to act for the permanent closure of the open storage facility.
Residents have been complaining of increased cases of asthma and respiratory related diseases.
In a June 20 report released by Global Witness, the Philippines is now considered the second deadliest place for environmental activists with more than three killed a week in 2015.
Among the rights groups that showed support for Capitan’s kin were the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and the Medical Action Group (MAG).
TFDP ‘s records showed that from 2013 to 2016, a total of 63 documented cases of human rights violations against rights defenders had been committed.
Across 16 countries, 185 activists were reported killed that year for defending their land, forest, and rivers.
Meanwhile, Edeliza Hernandez of MAG said that a thorough investigation into Capitan’s slay is needed to bring the perpetrators to justice. —Jerbert Briola/LBG, GMA News
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