By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The secretary-general for human rights group, the National Union of the People’s Lawyers-Negros (NUPL-Negros), was gunned down late Tuesday night by riding-in-tandem suspects in Barangay 5, Kabankalan City.
Police identified the fatality as 56-year-old Atty. Benjamin Ramos, Jr., a resident of the city’s Barangay Binicuil.
Based on a report issued by Kabankalan City police, they received a call from a concerned citizen around 10:30 p.m. reporting a shooting incident in the said area.
Police immediately responded, while bystanders rushed Ramos to the Holy Mother of Mercy Hospital in Kabankalan City, where he was declared dead on arrival by hospital staff.
In a statement by the victim’s wife to Karapatan-Negros Secretary-General Clarizza Singson, Ramos was smoking a cigarette beside the road when he was shot by two motorcycle-riding gunmen.
An autopsy revealed he sustained three gunshot wounds to his left upper chest, upper back, and right side of his body.
Following the incident, Kabankalan City police chief, Police Superintendent Jonel Guadalupe, ordered the formation of a special investigation task group to find out the identities of the suspects as well as the motive behind the incident.
Guadalupe said several witnesses have already come forward and provided statements.
Ramos reportedly represented “political prisoners,” including suspected New People’s Army (NPA) member Myles Albasin and the “Mabinay 6.”
The Mabinay 6 were arrested earlier this year following a gun battle between NPA rebels and government forces in Mabinay, Negros Oriental./DGB, WDJ