The former Bicol regional head of the party-list and activist group Bayan Muna was gunned down in Naga City this morning.
Neptali Morada was killed by unidentified assailants at around 8am in the village of San Isidro, reported Rappler.
Those who killed Morada were reportedly on board a white vehicle when they shot him, reported GMA News. Investigators found six empty bullet shells at the scene of the crime.
Morada was killed while traveling to the provincial capitol in the town of Pili, where he works. Before his death, Morada was working as a staff member for Camarines Sur Vice Governor Ato Peña.
Staff Master Sergeant Tobias Bongon, the spokesman of the Naga City police, told The Philippine Daily Inquirer that they are currently searching for the unidentified suspects. They are also trying to determine the motives of the suspects for killing Morada.
Aside from working for Bayan Muna, Morada was also the campaign committee head of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, another leftist organization.
Morada’s death comes after the killing of human rights workers Ryan Hubilla and Nelly Bagasala, who were killed together inside Seabreeze Homes Subdivision in the village of Cabid-an in Sorsogon City on Saturday.
In a statement that appeared on its Facebook page today, Bayan Muna condemned the killing of Morada.
Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares called Morada’s killing “a very dastardly and cowardly act.”
Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate, meanwhile, called the killings of Hubilla, Bagasala, Morada, and other activists as “madness” that must be stopped.
“We are calling all freedom loving people to stand up and condemn these vicious and ruthless attacks against activists and human rights defenders,” said Zarate.
According to human rights organization Karapatan, 134 human rights defenders and activists have been killed since June 2016.