On March 12 2019, James Vinas, 72, was shot dead by assailants riding in tandem in front of his house at 7:15 pm in Borongan City.
Vinas was a former Bayan Muna coordinator in Borongan.
According to Bayan Muna, the police are blaming activists for his death. “There are so many activists, priests, lawyers and farmers that were killed using the same modus where victims and their colleagues are vilified before and after the crime. This was the scheme since Gloria Arroyo and also during that time and up to now, the alleged perpetrators are the police and the military,” Makabayan senatorial bet said in a statement.
In a statement, Roneo Clamor, Deputy Secretary-General of the human rights group Karapatan noted that, “It must be emphasized that these killings are not isolated, but a systematic attack against indigenous and peasant communities who continue to raise legitimate demands for education, self-determination and genuine land reform. Students, their communities, and the schools which they have founded and built are being attacked. Farmers and their organizations, as well as their supporters are being attacked. Human rights defenders and activists are being targeted. The Filipino people who remain firm in the defence of their rights are in extreme danger under this brutal and murderous regime.” He added, “Not only are individuals and communities being targeted, but their advocacies are being criminalized and red-tagged. This regime does not recognize the civil and political rights of its people, nor does it respect or promote the social, cultural and economic rights of these communities.”