July 6, 2012 · Posted in: General
THE NETHERLANDS GOVERNMENT has expressed shock and dismay over the murder of Dutch development worker Willem Geertman in Pampanga on Tuesday.
Geertman, executive director of the nongovernmental development group Alay Bayan-Luson, was shot dead in front of his office in Sto Domingo, Angeles City Pampanga. The two gunmen who killed Geertman also rode off with more than a million pesos in cash that Geertman had just withdrawn from the bank.
Geertman had spent 46 of his 67 years in the Philippines working with local farmers groups.
Dutch Ambassador Robert G. Brinks condemned the murder of Geertman and expressed hopes that his assailants be brought to justice. Brinks stressed that the Netherlands has always maintained human rights advocacy as one of the pillars of his country’s foreign policy, and expressed hopes that this advocacy would help in stamping out the problem of impunity.
“Human rights remain one of the important pillars of Dutch foreign policy. In partnership with local human rights organizations, the Embassy has supported dialogues with the Philippines Commission on Human Rights, law enforcement, and human rights defenders. It is our hope that these people will also contribute to addressing impunity.” Brinks said in a statement released by the Dutch Embassy.