Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s death squads claimed another victim yesterday after a team of two motorcycle-riding assassins shot to his death Prof. Jose Maria Cui in front of his students yesterday at the University of Eastern Philippines in Catarman, Northern Samar.
Prof. Cui sustained two fatal gunshot wounds in the head and chest, ensuring his death.
His record as a patriot and human rights defender is long and illustrious. He was a former regional director of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, former deputy secretary-general of Katungod (the regional counterpart of the human rights alliance Karapatan), stalwart of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, leader of the government employees confederation Courage, and a founding member of Bayan Muna.
A few years ago, Prof. Cui was dubbed an enemy of the state and placed on the military’s Order of Battle.
Prof. Cui joins the Filipino people’s growing pantheon of heroes, martyred to their deaths by GMA death squads. He is the 820th activist and 123rd Bayan Muna member to be slain under Arroyo’s watch.
This latest crime compels us to ask: Who killed Prof. Cui? Who are his enemies? Who considered him an enemy? What’s happening to the country when activist professors just get mowed down in an unexplained incident?