Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi City condemns the killing of two village officials, including a parish lay leader in Albay province.
Unknown assailants gunned down Village chief Luzviminda “Kap Ida” Dayanda and treasurer Albert Orlina of Brgy. Batbat in Guinobatan town on Sept. 21.
The two were killed by unidentified gunmen while heading back home after helping a constituent go to a hospital and meeting with the town’s mayor.
The bishop called for a probe on the twin murders “and speedy disposition of their cases so that justice may be served”.
Dayanda, he said, is also an active lay leader in St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Mauraro village, while also serving as chair of their village pastoral council.
“People who knew her attest to her quiet faith in God, humble service to the Church, and passionate commitment to the people under her care,” Baylon said.
“We pray for consolation, peace, and safety of their community and the family and loved ones they left behind,” he said.
According to him, Dayanda complained of being accused as a New People’s Army supporter by some soldiers who were staying in their village, “a charge she vehemently denied”.
The prelate also expressed concern over reports of NPA activities in the village and nearby areas, as well as alleged human rights violations against civilians by government forces.
Baylon asked the warring parties to stop violence, saying that “peace and security cannot be achieved at the expense of justice and human rights”.
“When armed groups clash in communities, without regard for rule of law and the dignity of persons, it is the poor and vulnerable residents who suffer the most,” he said.