On 29 April 2019 at 5:30am Emil Go was returning home from the market with bread and fish. About 20 metres from his house two unidentified men appeared on a motorbike, they knocked him from his bicycle and shot him seven times in the head and chest before fleeing the scene. He was taken to the Palapag Rural Health Unit where he was pronounced dead.
Go, a municipal secretary for Palapag, was a political activist and human rights defender who was involved in a number of causes throughout his life. He was a lead convenor of the leftwing political group Bayan from 2001-2004 and a convenor of human rights group Katungod Sinirangan Bisayas. In his college days he was a respected student leader, serving as student council president and associate editor of the student newspaper at the University of Eastern Philippines.
Go was actively campaigning for Northern Samar gubernatorial candidate and retired priest Fr. Walter Cerbito and it has been alleged that the killing was politically motivated. Bayan party list representative Carlos Isagani Zarate said in a statement, “A bloodless election has yet to happen in Philippine history. Gold, guns and goons have always been in the arsenal of the traditional politicians. It is truly unfortunate and disgraceful that Emil’s life—spent as a long-time activist and human-rights defender—is senselessly snuffed just because of election ambitions and interests.”