By Reynard Magtoto
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region, 31Aug2014 (BicolToday.com) — Two peasant leaders, involved in this week’s coco levy protest activities, were shot dead within 24 hours in separate incidents.
The victims were the Masbate chair of Bicol Coconut Planters Association, Inc. (BCPAI) and the Bayan Muna-Baao coordinator in Camarines Sur.
The two killings added again into the list of recorded extrajudicial killings in the Bicol Region under President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s watch, according to Human Rights report.
According to Karapatan-Bikol, two years left for BS Aquino’s term and yet impunity is as faster as the motorcycle-riding gunmen firing their guns.
BCPAI-Masbate chair Vicente Hugo was shot down along the road of Brgy. Del Rosario, Uson in Masbate midnight of August 25. Hugo was also the barangay captain in Arado, Uson, who wanted to resolve the case of land ownership of barangay site against the Kho political clan.
According to Murphy of Masbate People’s Organization, Hugo was supposed to be present in the national consultation dubbed “Pambansang Konsultasyon ng mga Magsasaka sa Nyugan” in Guinubatan, Albay on August 27-28.
The said event highlighted issues surrounding small coconut farmers like the privatization of coco levy-acquired assets, the coco levy fund recovery and the coco-lisap infestation. His death became an additional report of grievances to the national council of Kilusang Mangbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
The following day at 11:30 noon, Bayan Muna-Baao coordinator Librado Adoptante Jr. was shot three times in Baao, Camarines Sur, by two unidentified hooded gunmen riding in motorcycle.
According to Camarines Sur Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (CSEMJP) report, Adoptante Jr. was passing by Brgy. San Vicente, Baao on his way home after visiting Dr. Robosa Hospital when the armed men intercepted and shot him at the left chest side and two shots at the head.
The assailants were suspected as military men. Since 2006, the Army’s 42nd IBPA and CAGFU men had monitored and visited the Adoptante family. The last visit at his home by the military was last December 2013. They suspected Librado as NPA member. [BicolToday.com]