Killing of human rights witness Eden Jerus still unsolved after 6 years

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Citizen Eden Jolloso-Jerus of Sorsogon City was shot dead by a hooded gunman on motorcycle in front of her children March 31, 2009, under almost the same manner her husband Willy was shot dead in front of her, two years back, April 16, 2007. Human rights probe says a hitman, with military links, is the suspect, now at large. Photo from the Jolloso family
Citizen Eden Jolloso-Jerus of Sorsogon City was shot dead by a hooded gunman on motorcycle in front of her children March 31, 2009, under almost the same manner her husband Willy was shot dead in front of her, two years back, April 16, 2007. Human rights probe says a hitman, with military links, is the suspect, now at large. Photo from the Jolloso family

By Joey Natividad  

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, 31Mar2015 (BicolToday.com) – The killing in Sorsogon Province of a woman witness allegedly by military hitmen 6 years ago is still unsolved over authorities’ failure to investigate farther.

Eden Jolloso-Jerus was murdered at her house on March 31, 2009, a crucial witness to the brutal slaying two years ago of her husband, Willy Jerus, on April 16, 2007, which also happened on the same house.

Two children of Eden saw how their mother was slain.

The incident happened at Barangay San Juan-Roro, Sorsogon City. Eden was manning a small store when the hitman pretended to buy an item and shot her five times. The same pattern of killing was also observed on her murdered husband two years ago.

Willy was active in the farmers sector campaigning for genuine agrarian reform and a member of Anakpawis Partylist.

During that time under then Arroyo Administration, rumors had been circulating that a military “death squad” in every province was secretly created to silence militant activists.

The spate of killings finally led into an international inquiry regarding the mounting State-sanctioned killings which the then Arroyo government easily denied.

When government investigators learned that state military hitmen were involved in the Jerus killings, investigation did not go deeper.

Human rights watch, Karapatan- Sorsogon, has documented 12 victims of military-sanctioned killings in Sorsogon Province under the present administration of President Aquino, starting the period 2010 until the present.

Included among these is the Jerus murder and the latest human rights female victim, Susan Cagalitan of Barcelona, Sorsogon.

Other killings, under the Arroyo and previous regimes are listed in other files.

Human rights groups have monitored that the number is rising of civilian women being murdered and their human rights violated.

The Sorsogon report does not include other human rights violation incidents in other Bicol provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, and Masbate.

State troop violations on citizens’ human rights have been on the rise in the ongoing internal conflict.

The international human rights watch community has been monitoring the volatile Philippine situation as among those countries which trample down on dissent under a “culture of impunity”. [BicolToday.com]

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