December 29, 2020
Contact: Rhonda Ramiro, email@example.com,
Nikole Cababa, firstname.lastname@example.org
BAYAN USA condemns the killing of Sonya and Frank Gregorio, a mother and son who were ruthlessly shot down by neighbor and off-duty police officer, Jonel Nuezca. We join our fellow Filipinos to demand justice for their murders and all the victims of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Duterte regime.
Now viral, the video footage of the double-murder showed Nuezca shoot Sonya Gregario in the head point-blank while holding her son away from Nuezca. Prior to filming, Nuezca was beating Frank during a heated argument over an air cannon that Frank set off and an ongoing land dispute between the two families. In the video, the off-duty policeman’s young daughter is heard yelling at the neighbors that her father is a policeman. When Sonya defiantly shouted back that she did not care, Nuezca went on his murderous rampage, killing the mother and son in close range to the horror of the bystanders.
Outrage has rightfully taken over the Philippine public over this outright execution. Nuezca has since turned himself in to be arrested and charged. Pressured by the public, Philippine interior minister, Eduardo Año, condemned the killing but deflected responsibility by trying to paint this as an isolated incident. As the PNP’s track record shows, however, murder is systemic and business as usual for the institution, not the work of a few rogue cops.
In 2020 alone, the PNP were responsible for the arrests of urban poor residents and jeepney drivers demanding relief amid Duterte’s militarized pandemic lockdown; crackdowns on protests for International Workers’ Day in May and the Pride March in June; forcibly taking the remains of Randall Echanis during his family’s memorial service; hijacking the funeral procession of 1-month old Baby River Emmanuelle, the daughter of political prisoner Reina Mae Nasino; the rape and murder of 15-year old Fabel Pineda; and many more crimes against the people. All this on top of the PNP’s dirty work of acting as the Duterte regime’s public executioners in Duterte’s bloody “war on drugs,” which has been nothing but a war on the poor. Their crimes demonstrate that the PNP and the Duterte regime that directs it—not the activists and everyday people who stand up to their wrongdoings—are the real terrorists, acting to serve only the interests and wealth of the ruling class.
BAYAN USA calls on all Filipino people to join us in exposing not only the PNP, but the rotten system it protects. We must not allow another Sonya Gregorio or Frank Gregorio to die at the hands of the criminal Duterte regime. We must organize to stop the arrests, stop the killings, stop the culture of impunity, and end police terror and state repression by fighting for a national democratic alternative that will put power in the hands of the people.
Justice for Sonya & Frank Gregorio!
Stop the killings in the Philippines!
End PNP terror!
Oust Duterte now!