MANILA, Feb. 27, 2013—The religious family of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) in the Philippines has added its voice denouncing the killing of Boracay Ati leader Dexter Condez.
Condez, who spoke for the Atis in their fight to reclaim their ancestral lands, was also the youth conference president of the SSVP in the area.
Karl Michael Hila, the director for youth development of SSVP-National Council of the Philippines said in an interview that they are calling for justice and continued support on the cause that Condez was fighting for.
“It is not just a piece of land that they are protecting but their identity and dignity as an indigenous community,” Hila said.
Hila added that those who knew Condez from the Vincentian family were saddened and shocked to hear about his sudden death and expressed their continued support on the cause that he and his fellow Atis’ are fighting for.
Tuguegarao Bishop Sergio Utleg, earlier this week, has denounced the killing of Condez and urged the government to act swiftly and bring perpetrators to justice.
Utleg, who is the chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Indigenous People, urged the Aquino administration to take all possible means to solve the case of Condez and other victims of extra judicial killings.
Condez was shot dead on the evening of February 22 by unidentified gunman while on his way home to the Atis’ ancestral domain in Brgy. Manoc-Manoc after attending a meeting.
He was the spokesperson of the Ati people against those who oppose their claims on ancestral domain in Boracay and a teacher on Indigenous Peoples Education among Ati-children. (Jandel Posion)