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Pesante Condemns Rash of Killings Against the Filipino Peasants

by Pesante-USA Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007 at 8:55 PM
magsasakapil@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles,CA 90026

The Philippine Peasant Support Network (Pesante)-USA vehemently condemn the recent violent incidents in two regions of the Philippines where four individuals became victims of summary executions. The recent killings proved that the US-Arroyo regime is hell bent o impose its fascist rule especially to the down-trodden peasantry in the countrysides. Here are the details of the incidents: Barangay Captain Ananias Burce was on his way home from the market in Tabaco City, Albay at around 11:00 in the morning onboard his motorcycle when he was shot by assailants on board two single motorcycles along Barangay Bantayan of the same city. He sustained eight (8) gunshot wounds that caused his instantaneous death. While in Zone 4, Barangay Carupian, Baggao, Cagayan at around 2:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon, in an alleged encounter between the 17th Infantry Batallion, Philippine Army (IBPA) and the New People's Army (NPA), two civilians were killed and three others were wounded when the military fired upon them. Edralin Gudoy and Alvin Fuentes were currently tending their corn fields when elements of the 17th IBPA fired upon them. Neighbors saw them near the creek with Gudoy sprawled beside Fuentes and the latter suffered from a gunshot wound in the left knee. The neighbors helped Fuentes mount the carabao owned by Sony Buco to bring him to the hospital but the military elements fired upon them killing Fuentes instantly and grazing the arm of Buco. Buco is still under a state of shock.

Pesante Condemns Rash of Killings Against the Filipino Peasants

Los Angeles -- The Philippine Peasant Support Network (Pesante)-USA vehemently condemn the recent violent incidents in two regions of the Philippines where four individuals became victims of summary executions.

The recent killings proved that the US-Arroyo regime is hell bent o impose its fascist rule especially to the down-trodden peasantry in the countrysides. Here are the details of the incidents:

Barangay Captain Ananias Burce was on his way home from the market in Tabaco City, Albay at around 11:00 in the morning onboard his motorcycle when he was shot by assailants on board two single motorcycles along Barangay Bantayan of the same city. He sustained eight (8) gunshot wounds that caused his instantaneous death.

While in Zone 4, Barangay Carupian, Baggao, Cagayan at around 2:30 to 3:00 in the afternoon, in an alleged encounter between the 17th Infantry Batallion, Philippine Army (IBPA) and the New People's Army (NPA), two civilians were killed and three others were wounded when the military fired upon them.

Edralin Gudoy and Alvin Fuentes were currently tending their corn fields when elements of the 17th IBPA fired upon them. Neighbors saw them near the creek with Gudoy sprawled beside Fuentes and the latter suffered from a gunshot wound in the left knee.

The neighbors helped Fuentes mount the carabao owned by Sony Buco to bring him to the hospital but the military elements fired upon them killing Fuentes instantly and grazing the arm of Buco. Buco is still under a state of shock.

After which, the elements of the 17th IBPA placed guns and personal effects they found in the area beside the bodies of Gudoy and Fuentes and started taking pictures which was witnessed by the residents of the area. The personal effects were obviously owned by a female.

Forced Evacuations and “Free Fire Zones”

The residents who had evacuated to Zone 3 pleaded with the military to at least allow them to feed their farm animals and get a few things from their houses particularly the students who were going to school the following day.

Ten residents including Aileen Quintos, Rosemarie Tomas, Marlon Fuentas, Jolan Javier, Aycee Quintos, Christian Santiago, Lorna Perillo, Mandy Benabeza and Junior Bambilya went back to Zone 4 to do these errands. While waiting for the others under a tamarind tree for the purpose of going back together to Zone 3, they were fired upon by the military in the nearby hill.

During the volley of shots, Rosemarie Tomas was hit in the right thigh. In the ensuing shots, Aileen Quintos was hit in the right leg. A new round of shots was heard but most of them had already run and had taken cover. The victims were brought to the nearby hospital for treatment. They did not get any assistance from the military.

In a radio interview of Col. Jacinto Bareng, the Commanding Officer of the 17th IBPA, he dismissively said that those who were killed and wounded were part of the "collateral damage" of a military operation where sometimes hitting civilians is unavoidable.

He alleged that Gudoy and Fuentes were members of the local militia of the NPA and Quintos and Tomas were suspected members of the NPA.

In Bicol Region, Southern Luzon

A day after the above incidents, on 23 January 2007, in the province of Sorsogon, Ruben Ermino and Demetrio "Don" Imperial were summarily executed by suspected elements of the military. Ermino, a Bayan Muna member, was driving his tricycle full of students from the town proper of Gubat to Barangay Tabi at around 12:00 noon when a DT single motorcycle with two men on board trailed them. As the passengers disembarked from his tricycle, one of the riders of the motorcycle peppered him with bullets killing him instantly.

The 26-year old Demetrio Imperial was shot in front of his wife Cristy and 2-year old son while they were having dinner by a group of masked armed men who barged into his house in Barangay Sogoy in the town of Castilla.

The perpetrators first aimed their guns at Cristy and her son and asked her where her husband hid his gun. The perpetrators search the house and took Imperial's cellular phone and motorcycle when they left.

Demetrio Imperial was the adopted brother of Rev. Michael Imperial, a staff member of KARAPATAN-Sorsogon. Prior to the incident, Demetrio was informed by a friend who has connections with the government to warn Michael to take precautions.

The members of the Imperial family decided to bring the body of Demetrio to Legaspi City for the wake because they noticed suspicious looking men who kept watch at their house thus preventing Michael to visit the wake of his brother.

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