April 22, 2019

For reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, ‪+639173162831‬
Roneo Clamor, Deputy Secretary General, ‪+639997721233‬

Karapatan condemns the extrajudicial killing of Escalante City councilor and human rights worker Bernardino “Toto” Patigas, 72, today, April 22, 2019. He is the 48th Karapatan worker killed in the course of his human rights advocacy..

Tay Toto, as he is fondly called, was a human rights worker of the North Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, a member organization of Karapatan-Negros chapter. He was also running for reelection as Sangguniang Panglungsod member.

At around 4:30pm today, Patigas was on his way home after campaigning with other fellow candidates. As he was driving his motorcycle along the highway to Brgy. Washington, Escalante City, Negros Occidental, he was shot twice in his leg and forehead.

Tay Toto was a survivor of the Escalante massacre of 20 farmers and farmworkers on September 20, 1985. He continued to support human rights advocacies especially the cause of the sakadas of Negros and joined fact finding missions in Negros after the dictator Marcos was ousted.

He received threats and harassment due to his human rights work. In 2017, trumped up complaints were filed against Patigas but these were dismissed due to lack of probable cause. In April 2018, Patigas’s name and picture, together with that of slain human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos and 60 other individuals and rights advocates, were included in a poster of alleged communist personalities.

As we condole with the family and friends of Tay Toto, as we cry with the loss of a good man and a diligent human rights worker, we pay tribute to his valuable contribution to the overall human rights advocacy in the Philippines. We vow to pursue the struggle for justice and realization of people’s rights amidst tyrants and fascists pervading the country.

Justice for Toto Patigas!
Justice for all victims of human rights violations!


Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.