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2 human rights defenders gunned down in Sorsogon —Karapatan

Two members of Karapatan were gunned down by motorcycle-riding men in Sorsogon on Saturday, according to a statement from the rights group.

The victims were identified as Ryan Hubilla and Nelly Bagasala, human rights defenders based in the province. The incident happened a kilometer away from the City Police Office, at the Seabreeze Homes Subdivision in Barangay Cabid-an.

Karapatan said that their members, including Hubilla, were tailed by a gray pick-up vehicle and a black motorcycle, both lacking license plates, last April 21 at 10 p.m. 

This happened after Karapatan staff escorted Atty. Bart Rayco, NUPL-Albay lawyer, who was visiting his clients who were political prisoners at PNP Cabid-an.

"Karapatan condemns the killing of two of its human rights workers. This is a stark indication of the worsening attacks against human rights defenders, particularly in regions where Memorandum No. 32 is implemented," the rights group said.

Memorandum Order No. 32 reinforces the guidelines for the military and police in the implementation of measures suppressing lawless violence.

"As we condole with the families of our dear colleagues, we raise our fists in condemnation and firmly commit to seek justice and accountability from this ruthless regime," Karapatan said. — Jessica Bartolome/MDM, GMA News