On 28 May, 2020, police officers found the body of Kadamay Secretary-General Carlito “Karletz” Badion in the Pagsanga-an River in Barangay Guintigui in Ormoc City, Leyte province in the Philippines. The body had been burned and bore signs of torture.
Kadamay, an urban poor group, stands for the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap.
According to a Kadamay spokesperson “Karletz was killed by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He committed no crime but devoted his whole time to the poor and those oppressed by a rotten social system.”
The statement continued: “Badion championed the cause of the homeless and the informally settled. He was instrumental in Kadamay’s housing occupation campaigns and community barricades against demolition. Because of this, he and other fellow urban poor activists were repeatedly and ruthlessly maligned and harassed.”
Badion helped various communities facing threats of demolition such as Sitio San Roque in Quezon City and Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City — fighting with residents along barricades they built to defend their homes and livelihoods. Badion also highlighted issues such as the building of substandard relocation sites.
According to local representative Ferdinand Gaite, “Badion was “another victim of state-sponsored murders,” saying that his death comes at a time when “fellow urban poor activists are repeatedly and ruthlessly maligned and harassed, and are labelled as criminals, or worse as enemies of the state, as terrorists.”