Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the killing of farmer and village chief Richard Biraquit in Piat, Cagayan

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the killing of farmer and village chief Richard Biraquit in Piat, Cagayan

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) denounces the killing of Richard Biraquit, 57, barangay chairman of Brgy. Sto. Domingo in Piat, Cagayan. This brazen and arbitrary deprivation of a person’s right to life affronts human dignity and rights.

CHR Region II has begun conducting an independent motu proprio investigation of this incident to aid in the pursuit of justice. At the same time, the Commission welcomes the effort of Philippine National Police investigators in searching for the suspects and determining motives for the crime.

Based on news reports, while on his way home with his wife, Biraquit was attacked by unidentified gunmen in the vicinity of Sitio Malasat on Monday evening, 23 January 2023. His wife took him to Nuestra Señora De Piat District Hospital after the shooting incident, but he was declared dead on arrival.

CHR stands with Biraquit’s family in their search for justice. Biraquit is a known leader and agricultural innovator whose projects and efficiency earned him multiple recognitions in both provincial and national government levels, including a National Gawad Saka Award from the Department of Agriculture in 2017.

Continuing incidences of killings and other forms of human rights violations worsens the human rights situation in the country. We continue to stress the obligation of the State to protect every person’s life and security, as well as to ensure that perpetrators of violence are held to account. In addressing the climate of impunity, our continuing call is to #StoptheKillings.