Mabinay 6 devastated by activist-lawyer’s slay
A LEGACY OF COMPASSION
The mother of one of the six persons who were tagged as communist rebels and arrested by the military in Mabinay town, Negros Oriental last March expressed sorrow over the slay of activist-lawyer Benjamin Ramos.
In a statement, Grace Albasin described Ramos as a dedicated lawyer who served peasants, activists, and political prisoners.
“Our hearts bleed for the murder of Atty. Ben Ramos. In the short time we spent together, we saw a man of compassion and dedication to the less fortunate,” she said.
“He lived for the people without fear. This legacy he left behind is etched in the hearts of the people he served," she added.
Albasin’s daughter Myles and five other persons were arrested in what the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army claim, was a shootout in the hinterlands of Mabinay town on March 3, a claim belied by the families and friends of the accused.
The military said they recovered four M-16 assault rifles with M-203 grenade launcher, and two M-4 assault rifles from the respondents.
But results of the paraffin tests conducted by Negros Oriental Provincial Crime Laboratory negated the claim of the military of a shootout as all five respondents tested negative for gunpowder residue.
Despite the findings of
the crime laboratory, the Negros Oriental Provincial Prosecutor’s Office still found sufficient basis to indict the respondents.
Albasin said Ramos stood by them from the day her daughter was arrested.
“Atty. Ben came regardless of border and distance because no one was there to assist them on legal matters yet. He chose to be more human and showed up to assess the Mabinay 6 case. He escorted the mothers to see their children at the jail. He slept in an office and ate with us,” she said.
“From then on, he never missed a single court
appearance together with the other National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) lawyers for Mabinay 6. He always braved the more than two hours traveling to attend court hearings. He made his house a home to the families he defended. He eased tension with humor,” she added.
Ramos, 56, a founding member of the NUPL had
just bought cigarettes and was standing in front a store in Barangay 5, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental past 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday when two men on board a motorcycle shot him three times.
He was declared dead on arrival by attending physicians when brought to the Holy Mother of Mercy Hospital in the city.
Members of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) - Visayas founded by slain lawyer Benjamin Ramos and other militant groups to condemn his killing.