Aquino must be held responsible for the murder of Willem Geertman

Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairman, NDFP Negotiating Panel
4 July 2012

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest terms possible the brutal killing of Willem Geertman, 67, a Dutch development worker who had served the Filipino people for more than 40 years.

He was shot dead in front of his office in Angeles City, Pampanga, at noontime of 03 July 2012. The two killers riding a motorcycle are believed part of the death squads of the Benigno Aquino III regime. The killing took place at the office of Alay Bayan Inc. (ABI) of which Willem Geertman was the Executive Director.

Willem was a well-known advocate for peasants' rights. He was a firm supporter of the peasants and workers of Hacienda Luisita. He was tireless in assisting victims of floods and other natural disasters. He firmly opposed landgrabbing. He fought for the rights of indigenous peoples for their ancestral lands and against destructive mining operations.

His murder following the earlier extrajudicial killing of Italian missionary, Fr. Faustino “Pops” Tentorio, is an ominous sign that foreign missionaries and development workers are not exempted from the deadly killing machine of the Aquino regime when they firmly support the peasants, workers, and indigenous people who struggle for land reform and oppose destructive foreign mining corporations.

President Aquino must be held accountable for this 81st extrajudicial killing under his watch. Not only has he failed to prosecute the killers and plunderers under the Arroyo regime, he is continuing the same policy of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other gross human rights violations.

He keeps the more than 350 political prisoners in detention in violation of the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), signed between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (GRP-NDFP). Worse, he detains more political prisoners and charges them with common crimes of murder, arson, robbery, etc. in violation of the CARHRIHL and the Hernandez political offense doctrine.

Willem Geertman was loved by the people with whom he integrated and whose cause he defended and upheld. Abroad, he too had a wide circle of friends. To win support for his various advocacies for the people, he received guests from the European Union and Caritas International, among others.  He was a member of the progressive church group Calama, which was close to communities in Latin America. He became a close friend of Bishop Julio Labayen and other church people. In his home country, the Netherlands, he has family, relatives and friends.

All these people, whose lives he touched, are now demanding JUSTICE FOR WILLEM GEERTMAN! The struggle of the people will in the end bring justice for Willem Geertman and other people's martyrs and heroes.


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Papanagutin si Aquino sa brutal na pagpaslang kay Willem Geertman

Ipinapahayag ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) ang pinakamariing pagkundena sa brutal na pagpaslang kay Willem Geertman, 67, isang Dutch development worker na 40-taon nang naglingkod sa sambayanang Pilipino.

Binaril si Geertman sa tapat ng kanyang upisina sa Angeles City, Pampanga, tanghali ng ika-3 ng Hulyo 2012. Sakay  ng motorsiklo ang dalawang salarin na pinaniniwalaang bahagi ng death squad ng rehimeng Aquino. Nangyari ang pagpatay sa upisina ng  Alay Bayan Inc. (ABI) na kung saan executive director si Geertman.

Kilala si Geertman sa pagtataguyod ng karapatan ng mga magsasaka. Matatag siyang tagasuporta ng mga manggagawa at magsasaka ng Hacienda Luisita. Wala siyang pagod sa pagtulong sa mga biktima ng baha at iba pang kalamidad. Mariin niyang tinutulan ang pangangamkam ng lupa. Ipinagtanggol niya ang karapatan ng mga pambansang minorya sa lupaing ninuno laban sa mapangwasak na pagmimina.

Ang pagpaslang kay Geertman kasunod ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang sa Italyanong misyonaryo na si Fr. Faustino “Pops” Tentorio ay badya na kahit ang mga dayuhang misyonaryo at development worker na nagtataguyod at sumusuporta sa mga magsasaka, manggagawa at pambansang minorya para sa reporma sa lupa at mapanirang pagmimina ay hindi ligtas sa makinarya ng pamamaslang ng rehimeng Aquino.

Kailangang managot si Presidente Aquino sa 81 ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang sa ilalim ng kanyang pamamahala.  Hindi lamang bigo ang rehimeng Aquino na usigin ang mga salarin at ang mga mandarambong sa panahon ng rehimeng Arroyo, bagkus ay ipinagpapatuloy pa nito ang dati nang patakaran ng ekstrahudisyal na pamamaslang, pagdukot at iba pang lansakang paglabag sa karapatang-tao.

Patuloy niyang ibinibimbin ang mahigit 350 detenidong pulitikal na labag sa 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) na pinirmahan sa pagitan ng Gubyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas at ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (GRP-NDFP). Ang malala pa, patuloy niyang dinedetine ang paparaming bilanggong pulitikal na kinakasuhan ng pagpatay, panununog, pagnanakaw at iba pang kaso, na labag sa CARHRIHL at doktrinang Hernandez hinggil sa mga kasong pulitikal.

Minahal si Willem Geertman ng mamamayan kung saan siya nakipamuhay, at na ang adhikai'y kanyang ipinagtanggol at itinaguyod. Sa ibayong dagat, malawak ang bilang ng kanyang mga kaibigan. Para makabig ang suporta sa iba't iba niyang ipinaglalaban para sa mamamayan, nag-iimbita siya ng mga mula sa European Union and Caritas International bukod sa iba pa. Myembro siya ng isang progresibong grupo ng simbahan, ang Calama, gaya ng mga komunidad sa Latin America. Matalik siyang kaibigan ni Bishop Julio Labayen at ng iba pang taong-simbahan. Nasa Netherlands ang kanyang pamilya, kamag-anak at kaibigan.

Sumisigaw ng Hustisya para kay WILLEM GEERTMAN ang lahat ng kanyang pinaglingkuran. Sa katapusan, ang pakikibaka ng mamamayan ang siyang magbibigay ng hustisya kay Willem Geertman at sa iba pang martir at bayani ng sambayanan.