features from SOBRIETY for the PHILIPPINES:
(Without Fear or Favor)
Friday, July 6, 2012
Witnesses said the killers forced Willem Geertman to his knees and shouted invectives at him before pulling the trigger.
Related story: Dutch environmentalist killed in Pampanga
By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
MANILA — It was not a robbery but a cold-blooded political killing. Dutch development worker Willem Geertman’s killing was politically-motivated.
This was the initial finding of a fact-finding mission led by the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) one day after Geertman was shot to death in L&S subdivision, Sto. Domingo, Angeles City, Pampanga.
According to the PCPR, early noon on July 3, 2012, Geertman had just finished financial transactions at Metrobank and returned to his office when two men shot and killed him. Based on initial findings, one of the men collared Geertman and then forced him down on his knees. As he knelt on the pavement, witnesses said, the two men proceeded to shout invectives at him. Geertman was heard pleading for his life, but one of the men pulled out a gun and shot him on the right shoulder. The bullet entered his chest, almost killing him instantly.
Geertman began his work in the Philippines as a Dutch lay missionary and eventually became the executive director of Alay Bayan Inc. (ABI). He was a staunch advocate of peasant rights and also actively campaigned for the rights of indigenous peoples, particularly members of the Agta people in Sierra Madre. He led education and advocacy activities in disaster preparedness and relief.
He was also a passionate supporter of the struggle of the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita and their just claim to the land. Through ABI, he gave his continuing support to the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL), the alliance directly working with the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid ng Asyenda Luisita (Ambala).
Kakai Tolention of Katribu Party-list said Geertman was a man who gave his all to the cause of Filipino farmers and indigenous peoples..... MORE
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