Source Human Rights Asia
On 19 January 2007, Professor Jose Ma Cui of the department of history and communication arts of the University of Eastern Philippines, Northern Samar, was shot dead by two armed men hooded with bonnets in front of his students. Cuis students were at the time taking their mid-term exams when he was shot.
According to the information received from the Promotion of Church Peoples Response (PCPR) and several media sources, at around 3:35pm and 3:45pm, the gunmen came to a classroom at Cuis College of Engineering building of the said University. Cui suffered fatal gunshot wounds to his head and chest from a .45 calibre pistol. He died on the spot.
After the shooting, the gunmen were seen escaping on a motorcycle in the direction of Mondragon town. It is reported that there is a military camp within two kilometres from the university campus and that the assassins were seen travelling in this direction. There has been no significant progress in the police investigation into the incident. Moreover the police said that it is the unwillingness of the witnesses to provide information about the incident that is causing the delays in their investigation.
There are allegations that the motive behind the killing of Professor Cui could be due to his active involvement in human rights advocacy, including employees welfare and anti-corruption activities.
Professor Cui, a 53-year-old father of three was a former secretary general of the human rights group called Katungod-Eastern Visayas, a regional chapter of the human rights organization of Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples Rights). He was also a chairman of the Employee Association of the University of Eastern Philippines, Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees-Northern Samar (COURAGE-NS), and Anti-Corruption Network (ActNow!). He was also one of the founding members of the political party group Bayan Muna in Northern Samar.
Long before the incident, the victim had already been reportedly targeted by an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) smear campaign. Cui had been charged with libel by the former commanding officer of the 63 rd Infantry Battalion, Colonel Manuelito Usi in 2004.