Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Disaster management network condemns Geertman killing
By Dino Balabo

Jul 05, 2012

MALOLOS CITY—A disaster management network bewailed the brutal killing of Dutch missionary Willem Geertman saying he is a big loss to the network.

“The death of Willem is a big loss to the entire network. We mourn and condemn his brutal killing. But as we mourn the loss of a committed development worker, we also vow to continue his good works for vulnerable communities and humanitarian response,” said Jimmy Khayog, the chairperson of the Citizen Disaster Response Network (CDRN).

The network said Geertman is the second European working for a non-governmental organization in the country killed in a span of nine months.

The other is Father Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, an Italian priest in Mindanao, who was also shot dead.

Like Geertman who served as the executive director of the Alay Bayan-Luson Inc., (ABI), Tentorio was also a board member of one of CDRN’s member organizations, the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. (MISFI).

A national network of community-based disaster management organizations, CDRN  where Geertman was an executive council officer, is focused on providing assistance to the most affected, least served and most vulnerable sectors of the population through disaster preparedness and mitigation, emergency relief, and rehabilitation programs.

The CDRN said Geertman, a Dutch national, lived in the Philippines for 46 years and actively championed the rights and welfare of disaster-affected people in rural communities of Central Luzon.

They also said that like Tentorio, Geertman was also active in several environmental, anti-mining, and indigenous peoples’ advocacies.

Earlier, Wilfredo Villareal, the journalist who witnessed the brutal killing of the Dutch missionary said that as head of the ABI, Geertman led malaria-control programs to indigenous people’s communities in Zambales, and Aurora.

He said that under ABI, Geertman also led disaster response training programs in vulnerable communities in Central Luzon especially among indigenous peoples.

Geertman was killed by motorcycle riding men in front of ABI office in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga on Tuesday.

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