Negros Occidental urban poor leader killed in ambush

Another urban poor leader was shot dead in Negros Occidental, police confirmed on Thursday, April 15. 

Jesus Passon Jr was shot dead in broad daylight in Zone 4, Sitio Basurahan, Barangay Mambulac, Silay City, according to Silay City police. 

The 33-year-old Passon was a member of Pasil Homeowners Association, and Kadamay Negros – an urban poor group, which fights for the rights of the marginalized for better housing and other social needs.

According to Karapatan Negros Island, Passon was driving his tricycle along Barangay Mambulac around 1 pm on Thursday. When his passenger alighted the vehicle, unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants shot him.

The rights group added that Passon was still conscious after the incident and was brought to a hospital. He eventually died around 2 pm. 

Karapatan Negros condemned the killing of Passon. “We are enraged by this killing of Jesus Passon. We strongly condemn this ceaseless killing in Negros Island,” the group said in Facebook post. 

Passon is the 11th activist killed since March 2021. 

Union leader and longtime labor rights activist Dandy Miguel suffered the same fate in the province of Laguna on March 28. Calamba City Police said Miguel was riding his motorcycle in Barangay Canlubang when was gunned down by a still unidentified man.

On March 7, at least 9 activists were killed, while 6 others were arrested in a deadly police operation now remembered in infamy as “Bloody Sunday.” Many progressive groups lost their leaders during this crackdown in Calabarzon. 

Deadly Negros Island

Last year, human rights activist Zara Alvarez was killed along Sta. Maria Street in Eroreco, Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City in August 2020. She was shot at the back by unknown assailants in Negros Occidental. 

In March 2019, a deadly single-day operation in Negros Oriental killed 14 people who were said to be sympathizers of the communist New People’s Army .

This was followed by 21 people killed in the same province in a span of 10 days – from July 18 to 28, 2019. –