William Bugatti was on his way home to his family at Bolog, Kiangan, Ifugao when unidentified
assassins shot three bullets piercing his heart. They shot at him treacherously from the back as cowards do to brave men.
William had been receiving threats to his life and security from state security forces and their agents since the start of Oplan Bayanihan implementation in the Cordillera region. This increased after the Armed Forces of the Philippines, particularly the 5th ID and the 86th IB Target List in Tinoc was obtained in October 2012.
Bugatti was listed as #21 on the list in a roster of 28 people tagged as brains, members and supporters of the New People’s Army who are now also vulnerable to attack by state security forces and their agents. He was constantly accused of being a member of the NPA. This resulted in numerous incidents of surveillance and harassment against him that prevented him from doing his work. He was even barred several times from visiting political detainees at the Ifugao Provincial Jail. The Jail warden claimed that there is a “Regional Memorandum” stating that Bugatti was not allowed to enter the jail and visit the political detainees because of the red-tagging.
The day before he was killed, he attended the hearing of the case of political prisoners Rene Boy Abiva and Virgilio Corpuz in Lagawe, Ifugao. He went to the office of Ifugao Peasant Movement and was last seen alive by his colleagues at around 5:00 pm before he went home.
William has been a diligent paralegal. As a human rights worker, he has always made sure that the welfare and rights of human rights victims are addressed and well-taken care of. Despite the threats to his life, he persisted in the work.
The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) said in its statement that Bugatti was a Tuwali and a human rights advocate. He was a regional council member of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance-Karapatan and of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. Bugatti was the provincial coordinator of Bayan Muna party list. Bugatti had worked for his community and the people of Ifugao, mostly marginalized peasants and farmers in land rights and environmental protection issues and mining issues.
Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said Bugatti hosted the visit in Ifugao of international delegates of the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in July 2013.