Statement of the Commission on Human Rights denouncing the attempt against the life of a barangay kagawad in Ormoc

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The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has deployed a Quick Response Operation (QRO) on the shooting and attempt against the life of a barangay kagawad in Ormoc City. According to reports, the victim, Ramie Matuguina, was shot by an unidentified riding in tandem while he was inside a car on 06 June 2024.

Matuguina, a kagawad in Barangay Salvacion, sustained bullet wounds and was immediately brought to a hospital. Six cartridges of a .45-caliber pistol, a discharged bullet, and a deformed slug were found in the scene, according to police reports.

The Commission condemns this brazen assault against another barangay official. Although authorities have yet to determine the motive of the incident, we express our concern over the continued occurrences of violence committed against public officials as the 2025 midterm elections draw closer.

CHR notes that this incident is a recent addition to the long list of violence committed against elected government officials this 2024. We recognize the immediate action of the Ormoc City Police Station 1 for launching its dragnet operations to immediately identify the suspects.

Continued occurrence of violence only cultivates a climate of fear amongst the voters and public officials themselves, and may bring detrimental implications on the results of the upcoming elections. Whether this incident is politically-motivated or not, we emphasize that every human being has the right to live without fear of harm of violence.

As the country’s independent national human rights institution, the Commission stresses that all acts of violence contradict the overall goal towards fostering a safer and more peaceful society. Let us all work towards respecting the sanctity of human life and dignity above all else.

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