4 ‘NPA sympathizers’ slain in CL
By Ding Cervantes
The Philippine Star 08/18/2006
ANGELES CITY — Four suspected sympathizers of the New People’s Army (NPA) have been gunned down in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija in the past three days, and the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Central Luzon has again pointed an accusing finger at the military.
According to Bayan-Central Luzon, the latest victim, barangay councilman Julie Vasquez, 49, was shot dead in a neighbor’s wake in Barangay Culong in Guimba, Nueva Ecija at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"The incident took place just beside the detachment of the Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion. Earlier, the military tagged him as a former NPA supporter," said Bayan-Central Luzon chairman Roman Polintan.
In Barangay Sukol in Calumpit, Bulacan, tricycle driver Daniel de Leon was shot dead inside his home also on Thursday night, the militant group said.
Reports reaching Bayan said alleged military men initially approached De Leon while he was waiting for passengers near his home.
"Sensing danger, he ran to his home where the men caught up with him and shot him dead," the group said.
Bayan also cited reports that De Leon was a witness to a killing involving a military man in his town.
Last Wednesday morning, another suspected NPA sympathizer, a certain Sydney Santos, was shot dead by alleged military men inside the barangay hall of Iba Esta, also in Calumpit.
The previous day, armed men barged into the home of Orlando Rivera, a member of the militant group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), in Barangay Binuangon in Obando, Bulacan and shot him dead.
"The common factor in all these cases is that (the victims) were known to have been tagged by the military as suspected NPA sympathizers," Bayan said.
The killings, according to Polintan, now average one per day. "It seems the trend will continue up to the retirement of Palparan on Sept. 11 or 28 days from now," he said.
He was referring to Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, who took over the command of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division in September last year.
Meanwhile, Bayan claimed that men of the 69th Infantry Battalion have been marking houses of Pamalakaya and Kadamay members in Mabalacat, Pampanga with a red letter "X."
Polintan said the soldiers, using red paint, allegedly marked the houses of Pamalakaya president Sonny Diarmi and Kadamay members Boy Garcia, Mading Alejaga, Ric Espino, and Emmanuel Salazar.
"We don’t know what that red ‘X’ mark is supposed to signify, but it sends a chilling message," he said.
Bayan also expressed fears for the safety of Polintan and Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon chairman Joseph Canlas after Palparan said he wanted them out of Central Luzon.
In a report, Bayan said that of the 107 alleged summary executions in the region since 2001, 68 were allegedly committed by Palparan’s men.
"(The killings) of five of 21 massacred people and 46 of the 58 enforced disappearances, were perpetrated under Palparan’s watch," Bayan said.
The militant group cited observations that summary executions increased whenever Palparan was promoted.
For instance, it said lawyer Norman Bocar, Bayan-Eastern Visayas chairman, was slain immediately before Palparan was transferred to Central Luzon in September last year.
When Palparan was promoted to major general last December, Bayan said barangay chief Victorina Gomez and her councilman Romeo Atienza were shot dead by motorcycle-riding men in Barangay Parian in Mexico, Pampanga.
"This was followed by the ambush-killing the following day of Jess Alcantara, Bayan Muna municipal coordinator for San Ildefonso, Bulacan, also by two motorcycle-riding assassins as he was driving his tricycle in Barangay Pinaod," Bayan said.
The group said it expects more human rights violations in Central Luzon before Palparan retires.
"How many more widows and orphans will there be before you retire?" Bayan asked Palparan in a statement.
Bayan also blamed Palparan for the recent suicide of barangay councilman Rolando Senangelo, 50, in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.
Senagelo, according to the group, "lost his sanity and committed suicide after he was allegedly tortured and beaten up by soldiers under Palparan who reportedly wanted him to admit that he was a supporter of the NPA."
"We appeal to well-intentioned government officials, religious leaders and the faithful and all others concerned to condemn and help stop the spate of killings and political repression that wreak havoc on the lives of the Filipino people," Bayan said. — With Cecille Suerte Felipe