By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — A veteran activist was shot dead early Thursday morning in Arevalo district of this city.
Jory Porquia, the Iloilo City coordinator of left-wing Bayan Muna party-list, was shot dead outside a house he was temporarily staying in at Santo Niño Norte village past 5 a.m. of April 30.
Based on initial investigation by Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), the activist who was in his 60s succumbed to several gunshot wounds.
“It is premature to say the motives at this point in time since investigation is still ongoing,” said Police Captain Shella Mae Sangrines, ICPO spokesperson.
But for Bayan Muna in Panay Island, Porquia was assassinated as part of “political killings aimed at terrorizing activists critical of the Duterte administration.”
The activist group claimed that ICPO personnel have been harassing Porquia, who led a feeding program in Molo district last week as part of relief operations for those affected by the community quarantine due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Sangrines clarified that the incident last week was more of a reminder for those involved in the feeding program to practice social distancing and observing other anti-COVID-19 measures.
“We uphold the law and respect their rights,” Sangrines told the Manila Bulletin on Thursday.
Porquia has been a local fixture in the protest scene since martial law days.
“Jory is a great loss to the progressive movement for social transformation, but will inspire Bayan Muna members and all activists to persist in advancing new politics,” said Seigfred Deduro, vice president for the Visayas of Bayan Muna.