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Pesante-USA Condemns the Killing of Isabela Woman Peasant Leader

by Pesangte-USA Friday, Jul. 21, 2006 at 3:07 PM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 1610 Beverly Blvd. Suite No. 2 , Los Angeles, CA 90026

The Philippine Peasant Support Network-USA after learning from news sources that Madonna Castillo, 32, succumbed at around 6:30 p.m. to three gunshot wounds to the stomach and feet sustained when she was attacked around 8 a.m. in front of the Isabela State University, condemned in the strongest possible terms the reign of terror being perpetrated by the Philippine military against the progressive mass leaders and activists.

Pesante-USA Condemns the Killing of Isabela Woman Peasant Leader

Los Angeles- The Philippine Peasant Support Network-USA after learning from news sources that Madonna Castillo, 32, succumbed at around 6:30 p.m. to three gunshot wounds to the stomach and feet sustained when she was attacked around 8 a.m. in front of the Isabela State University, condemned in the strongest possible terms the reign of terror being perpetrated by the Philippine military against the progressive mass leaders and activists.

Madonna Castillo was also the secretary general of Anakpawis-Isabela

and Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon iti Isabela-Echague municipal chapter. The

group is affiliated with the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) that

condemned the killing.

Pesante -USA believes that these killings occurred to blatantly cow the

Filipino people into submission. This new killings came after the US-RP

military exercises "Kapit-Bisig" was announced to be held in the Luzon

area. More than 110 activist have been killed this year since Arroyo launched

her all out military and legal offensive or "Total War" against the NPA.

Pesante –USA believes the spate of killings will continue with the

shameless promotion of former NOLCOM Generall Romeo Tolentino as Army

Chief and General Palparan who was promoted as NOLCOM chief by President Arroyo. NOLCOM where the area of the killings were located, also includes Central Luzon where a lot of activist has been missing, killed publicly or being harassed by the military..

Castillo’s companion, a certain Maricris Valdez, was unhurt. KMP reported that Castillo, already in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit of the Isabela Provincial Hospital, managed to identify the gunmen as “from the 502nd Infantry (Brigade)” of the Philippine Army. The KMP also reported that Castillo’s identification of her killers was made in the presence of several radio reporters who taped her statement.

The KMP spokesman Carl Ala said he was also to talk briefly with Castillo at

the hospital. Castillo became prominent in the province when she condemned the brigade for alleged human rights abuses, graft and other excesses. Over the radio, she also criticized Capt. George Domingo, brigade spokesman, over summary killings activists blamed on the Army.

Meanwhile, Isabela Governor Grace Pdaca called the killers of Castillo as "cowards." She said Castillo was a woman and maybe smaller and very vurnurabe and yet her killers shot her.

This is the fifth prominent activist leader who was killed in the province.

A Cordillera tribal leader Marcus Bangit was also killed in Isabela. Earlier

Elena Mendiola and Ricardo Balaoag of BAYAN Muna were also slain. Later

Ilagan Mator Delfinito Albano was assassinated in Metro Manila. Earlier, the

Baggao peasant run-radio in Baggao, Cagayan was burned down by the same elements.

*******

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