Mabi­nay 6 dev­as­tated by ac­tivist-lawyer’s slay

A LEGACY OF COM­PAS­SION

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - by Ador Vin­cent Mayol WRIT­ING EDI­TOR/DAY DESK

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.

CDN PHOTO/ MOREXETTE MARIE B. ERRAM

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.

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