Elisa Badayos, regional coordinator of the human rights group Karapatan, was killed on the 28th November 2017 in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, Philippines.
At least two unidentified armed men gunned down Elisa, 59, and two other human rights defenders, Eleuterio Moises -also killed and Carmen Matarlo, 22 -wounded in the incident, while travelling on a habal-habal (a modified motorcycle).
They were returning from interviewing farmers who reportedly had been harassed by security guards of a land claimant involved in a land dispute. The fact-finding mission was investigating reported cases of killings, harassment and other human rights violations in several towns in Negros Oriental.
According to local sources, there are serious concerns about the possible involvement of police officers and other state agents in the case.
Ms Bayados and and her family had long suffered from injustice perpetrated by state forces. Her husband, Jimmy Bayados, a Labour leader in Cebu, was abducted by the military in 1990, and has since disappeared. In 2012, a police and military team abducted her daughter, Jimmylisa, and a companion. She was later found illegally detained in Cebu.
Karapatan has condemned the attack; “The attacks on human rights defenders are becoming more rampant, more brutal, more fearless […] The perpetrators know they will be dealt with impunity, as human rights have lost force and meaning especially under this regime. Fact-finding missions are a mechanism for human rights organisations to confirm reports of abuses, and this incident has only proven how fascism works to outrightly kill those who dare to question.”