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Bishop Fatally Stabbed in Philippines

Unidentified men on Tuesday fatally stabbed a a Philippine Christian sect's bishop, who was also a human rights activist, inside his convent north of Manila, police said.
( [email protected] ) Oct 03, 2006 11:47 AM EDT

Left-wing groups condemned the killing of Alberto Ramento of the Philippine Independent Church in Tarlac province as the latest in a string of political killings in the country.

Tarlac's police chief, Senior Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome, said an aide found Ramento's bloodied body on the second floor of the convent. Investigators found his empty wallet near his body and the convent staff were checking if items were stolen from the ransacked building, Bartolome said.

Police Deputy Director General Avelino Razon, who heads a police task force investigating a series of killings of activists and journalists, said police will look into all possible motives for Ramento's killing, including robbery.

Ramento, 69, was also the provincial leader of the local human rights group Karapatan. He had received death threats from men believed to be elements of the military, Karapatan said in a statement.

"We decry and express our outrage over this heinous killing against a peace and human rights advocate," said Karapatan deputy secretary general Jigs Clamor.

The left-wing alliance Bayan said Ramento had spoken out against a spate of extra-judicial killings under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's administration.

Rep. Satur Ocampo, president of the Bayan Muna political party, paid homage to the man who he said supported causes such as human rights, civil liberties and good governance.

He blamed the Arroyo government for failing to stop political killings and to undertake a genuine independent investigation.

Karapatan said at least 763 people, including 320 left-wing activists, have been killed since Arroyo took power in 2001.

London-based Amnesty International says there have been 51 political killings in the first six months of this year, compared with 66 for all of 2005.

Razon said his task force has narrowed down the number of suspected politically motivated killings to 110 since 2001. It said it has solved 21 cases of killings of left-wing activists and journalists and arrested 12 suspects since Arroyo gave a 10-week deadline to bring at least some of the perpetrators to justice. The deadline expires on Saturday.

MANILA, Philippines Unidentified men on Tuesday fatally stabbed a a Philippine Christian sect's bishop, who was also a human rights activist, inside his convent north of Manila, police said.

Left-wing groups condemned the killing of Alberto Ramento of the Philippine Independent Church in Tarlac province as the latest in a string of political killings in the country.

Tarlac's police chief, Senior Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome, said an aide found Ramento's bloodied body on the second floor of the convent. Investigators found his empty wallet near his body and the convent staff were checking if items were stolen from the ransacked building, Bartolome said.

Police Deputy Director General Avelino Razon, who heads a police task force investigating a series of killings of activists and journalists, said police will look into all possible motives for Ramento's killing, including robbery.

Ramento, 69, was also the provincial leader of the local human rights group Karapatan. He had received death threats from men believed to be elements of the military, Karapatan said in a statement.

"We decry and express our outrage over this heinous killing against a peace and human rights advocate," said Karapatan deputy secretary general Jigs Clamor.

The left-wing alliance Bayan said Ramento had spoken out against a spate of extra-judicial killings under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's administration.

Rep. Satur Ocampo, president of the Bayan Muna political party, paid homage to the man who he said supported causes such as human rights, civil liberties and good governance.

He blamed the Arroyo government for failing to stop political killings and to undertake a genuine independent investigation.

Karapatan said at least 763 people, including 320 left-wing activists, have been killed since Arroyo took power in 2001.

London-based Amnesty International says there have been 51 political killings in the first six months of this year, compared with 66 for all of 2005.

Razon said his task force has narrowed down the number of suspected politically motivated killings to 110 since 2001. It said it has solved 21 cases of killings of left-wing activists and journalists and arrested 12 suspects since Arroyo gave a 10-week deadline to bring at least some of the perpetrators to justice. The deadline expires on Saturday.

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