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CHR condemns killing of Lipa City barangay chairperson

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday condemned the killing of a barangay chairperson in Lipa City, Batangas, over the weekend. 

In a statement, CHR Commissioner Faydah Dumarpa expressed alarm over the violent attack against Vivencio Palacio, saying his case is a "recent addition to the already distressing series of violence against government officials this 2023."

"As an independent national human rights institution, we stress that every human being has the right to live without fear of harm or violence. These attacks are not only a violation of fundamental human rights; [they] also go directly against the principles of justice and morality," Dumarpa said. 

"Whether these acts are politically motivated or not, CHR asserts that this is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms," she said. 

Palacio, the chairperson of Barangay San Carlos, was fatally shot by a still unidentified assailant in Lipa City on Sunday, February 26. 

CCTV footage of the incident showed the victim organizing items on the back of his pickup when a car stopped and a gunman inside shot him. The suspect escaped. 

The victim was immediately brought to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Dumarpa asked the local authorities to investigate the incident with impartiality. 

"The Commission also calls on government, communities, and individuals to come together in solidarity and denounce any attack on human life," she said. 

"The realization of a safer and more peaceful society begins with the prioritization of the sanctity of human life and dignity above all else. Let us work towards dismantling this culture of violence and fear and [putting] an end to similar tragedies from occurring in the future," she added. —VBL, GMA Integrated News