September 7, 2005
BosNewsLife – A human rights lawyer was killed and a church pastor died following a previous attack in the Philippines amid concern the military is involved in growing violence against Christian activists, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said Tuesday, September 6. In a statement obtained by BosNewsLife the AHRC, a leading advocacy group, said “lawyer, Norman Bocar, was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen in Borongan,” the capital of the Eastern Visayas region, September 1. “It was reported that Bocar was coming out from a meeting when shot in the head by his attackers riding on a motorcycle. He was the regional chairman of Bayan, a human rights group fighting for the poor and oppressed” at the time of his death, the group said.
In addition Rev. Raul Domingo of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, one of the country’s largest Protestant denominations and a leader of human rights group Karapatan died Sunday, September 4, at the Philippine Lung Cancer Center in Manila, two weeks after being shot, the AHRC added.
“He was comatose and did not recover after he was shot” August 20 in the area of Puerto Princessa, the capital of Palawan island, about 500 kilometers (about 312 miles) southwest of Manila, the organization said. Domingo is survived by his wife and five children. He “was a dedicated pastor” who “denounced military abuses and large-scale mining in the Southern Tagalog region.” He had been the “victim of harassment and under threats in the past several years before he was shot.” the group added.
“He was the latest victim of killings against activists and church leaders” earlier this year including Attorney Felidito of Tacloban City, Rev. Edison Lapuz of Visayas, Fr. William Tadena of Luzon, activist Joel Baclao and others, reported the AHRC.
The AHRC said it had learned of the killings from well informed sources within the Promotion of Church People Response group.