Source Front Line Defenders
On 30 January 2019, Randy Felix Malayao, a human rights defender and peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), was shot dead while he was asleep on bus in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.
Randy Felix Malayao was a human rights defender and peace advocate. Since 2008, he had served as a consultant on political and constitutional reforms for the NDFP, a coalition of groups that has long been engaging in peace negotiations with the Phillipine government. The human rights defender also participated in the peace talks in Europe in 2016, as a spokesperson during the formal negotiations. Other than his work with the NDFP, Randy Felix Malayao was also on the board of trustees of the human rights organisation, Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA)-Northern Luzon, the current vice president of the Makabayan coalition, and an active campaigner against human rights violations committed by the military in Cagayan Valley.
At around 2am on 30 January 2019, Randy Felix Malayao was shot twice by an unidentified gunman when the Isabela-bound passenger bus he was travelling home on made a stopover in Aritao, Neuva Vizcaya. The gunman reportedly boarded the bus while it was parked at the CCQ Restaurant and left the scene in a black Yamaha Mio motorcycle with another rider. Randy Felix Malayao was asleep at the time and was killed instantaneously.
Following the death of the human rights defender, his work and character were targetted by a slew of unfounded allegations from the Philippine National Police (PNP). They alleged that Randy Felix Malayao was a ranking officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), that he embezzled funds from “the Party” and extorted money from the people, and that he had eloped with another activist who was already married. Randy Felix Malayao’s family denounced these allegations. Cristina Palabay, Secretary General of Filipino NGO Karapatan, also denounced the PNP’s allegations and reaffirmed that Randy Felix Malayao was not a a member of the CPP.
Before his death, as a result of his human rights advocacy, Randy Felix Malayao had been hounded by suspected military personnel; abducted and tortured by political adversaries; spent four years in prison on trumped-up and politically-motivated charges; and was among the 650 individuals branded as terrorists by the Duterte administration in the proscription petition issued by the Department of Justice in February 2018. The eventual removal of his name from this list in January 2019 by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch was supposed to have accorded Randy Felix Malayao a safer environment to carry out his work, but his murder proves that this was not the case.
Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the killing of Randy Felix Malayao, which it believes was solely motivated by his legitimate and peaceful activities in the defence of human rights and his advocacy for the peace process in the Philippines.