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Randy Felix Malayao

Randy Felix Malayao

HRD, Member

Randy Felix Malayao was a human rights defender and peace advocate. Since 2008, he had served as a consultant on political and constitutional reforms for the NDFP, a coalition of groups that has long been engaging in peace negotiations with the Phillipine government. The human rights defender also participated in the peace talks in Europe in 2016, as a spokesperson during the formal negotiations. Other than his work with the NDFP, Randy Felix Malayao was also on the board of trustees of the human rights organisation, Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA)-Northern Luzon, the current vice president of the Makabayan coalition, and an active campaigner against human rights violations committed by the military in Cagayan Valley.

Before his death, as a result of his human rights advocacy, Randy Felix Malayao had been hounded by suspected military personnel; abducted and tortured by political adversaries; spent four years in prison on trumped-up and politically-motivated charges; and was among the 650 individuals branded as terrorists by the Duterte administration in the proscription petition issued by the Department of Justice in February 2018. The eventual removal of his name from this list in January 2019 by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch was supposed to have accorded Randy Felix Malayao a safer environment to carry out his work, but his murder proves that this was not the case.

Judicial harassment and criminalisation of HRDs remain common, with politicians and private actors, such as mining companies, using the criminal justice system to silence those who oppose their interests.