NDFP condemns murder of human rights lawyer Gil Gojol and his driver Danilo France

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest terms the brutal murder of human rights lawyer Gil Gojol and his driver Danilo France yesterday morning in Barangay Carriedo, Gubat, Sorsogon. The atrocious killing was perpetrated by four motorcycle riding assassins just two hundred meters from the 22nd Infantry Battalion Detachment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) condemns in the strongest terms the brutal murder of human rights lawyer Gil Gojol and his driver Danilo France yesterday morning in Barangay Carriedo, Gubat, Sorsogon. The atrocious killing was perpetrated by four motorcycle riding assassins just two hundred meters from the 22nd Infantry Battalion Detachment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The NDFP holds the Arroyo regime and its killers from the AFP, the Philippine National Police and paramilitary forces accountable for this brutal murder. Ms. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, her Cabinet Oversight Committee for Internal Security, which includes Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, are held responsible for this murder and the extra-judicial killings of 800 other unarmed civilians, the enforced disappearances of more than 200 persons and the frustrated killings of more than 200 others.

For many years Atty. Gojol used his skill and talents as a lawyer to defend the rights of victims of human rights violations. He was the lawyer of NDFP Consultant Sotero Llamas who was illegally detained by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) from May 1995 to June 1996 in flagrant violation of the GRP-NDFP Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Llamas was himself murdered on May 29 this year, ten days after being threatened by an AFP intelligence officer. When NDFP Consultant Danilo Borjal was illegally imprisoned in November 1996 to February 1997 by the GRP, again in violation of the JASIG, Atty. Gojol visited him together with Sotero Llamas.

The NDFP Negotiating Panel recognized more than ten years ago the pro-people commitment and legal expertise of Atty. Gil Gojol. It was for this reason that the NDFP decided to invite Atty. Gojol to be one of its legal consultants in the peace negotiations between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP). Atty. Gojol, however, asked to be excused, since his many commitments in the Philippines in order to defend victims of human rights violations in the Bicol region made it difficult for him to leave the country and attend the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations in Europe.

The NDFP conveys its heartfelt condolences to Atty. Gil Gojol’s family, relatives, and friends and to those of Danilo France. We grieve the loss of a dedicated human rights defender. We turn our grief into revolutionary courage and strengthen our resolve to carry on our struggle for national and social liberation.

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