International Committee DEFEND
July 4, 2012
The International Committee DEFEND strongly condemns the brutal killing of 67 year-old Dutch solidarity worker Willem Geertman. A team of assassins killed him in front of his of his office, Alay-Bayan, Inc., on the San Fernando side of L & S Subdivision last July 3, 2012. The manner by which he was killed is akin to the operation of killers of human rights advocates, progressives and political activists.
We condemn the maneuvers of the Aquino regime to whitewash the case by weaving a scenario of robbery gone wrong. This is the same lie they wove to whitewash the killing of Bishop Alberto Ramento of the Philippine Independent Church whose killing remains unsolved to this day.
Willem carried the struggle of the Filipino people for genuine democracy, especially the struggle for land of peasants and farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita owned by the family of President Aquino. Together with his organization, Alay-Bayan, Inc., he also undertook mercy missions and rehabilitation for victims of natural disasters. His work among the masses and speaking their native language endeared him to the people.
As a Dutch national, he was a staunch defender of the rights of progressives and Filipino refugees in the Netherlands. He encouraged and supported Prof. Jose Maria Sison and others in their efforts to obtain asylum and in their struggle against persecution and terrorist-labelling.
The killing of Willem Geertman once more exposes the hypocrisy of the Aquino regime in claiming to repect human rights. The ongoing impunity and the regime's utter disregard for human rights is apparent in Aquino's continuing indifference to the call of the people to render justice to the victims of human rights violations and his coddling of human rights violators.
The International Committee DEFEND joins the demand for justice for Willem Geertman and for all victims of human rights violations. Human rights must be defended and justice must be served!
Ruth de Leon