By BicolToday.com News Team
SORSOGON CITY – New wave of killings occurred in Gubat, Sorsogon Province, when pocket clashes between government forces and New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas, the latest on the attack of a police station last week by a NPA unit, have expanded to include as victims for retaliation civilian activists who are listed in the watchlist of members of progressive, militant groups.
Suspected rightist hitmen, believed to be under orders from the military/police command, shot dead a former leader of a militant transport group and his companion while they were on a late evening drink inside a bar before going home.
Shot dead early Wednesday morning,1:30 am, October 25, (this year) were Edwin “Kiko” Pura and his companion, Willy Bronio, while a guest relation girl, Grace Merilla, was wounded and was rushed to a hospital.
Pura was formerly active with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and transport leader of PORTA-Sorsogon (under PISTON – Pinagkaisang Tsuper at Operator Nationwide).
According to an initial police report, 2 unidentified armed men, using .45 and 9mm pistols, approached the victims inside the bar and shot them repeatedly. The firing also hit waitress, Merilla, who was standing nearby.
According to BicolToday.com sources, Pura worked as legal researcher at Espinosa Law Office in Sorsogon City after his stint as activist with BAYAN and transport sector.
In a related development, human rights group KARAPATAN blamed the Duterte Administration for its policies that led to the brutal killing of Edwin Pura.
“Duterte’s policy on waging war against all forms of dissent under the Duterte administration must be blamed for the series of attacks on progressive groups in the province,” said KARAPATAN-Sorsogon.
Records show, that under Duterte administration beginning middle of 2016, 17 persons, all civilians, were murdered through extra-judicial killings (EJK) in Sorsogon province.
Edwin Pura and Willy Bronio were the latest victims. and the 93rd and 94th victim of EJK since 2001, disclosed KARAPATAN-Sorsogon.
On the other hand, PISTON leader Jorge San Mateo, deplored the recent attack.
San Mateo said the Duterte administration wants to silence the progressive groups which are criticizing his continued violations of basic human rights of the people.
According to Pura’s neighbors, he was inside his house celebrating the birthday of a daughter with some guests before the tragic incident.
“When the party ended, Pura decided to unwind for a nightcap in a nearby bar. And, during this time, he already noticed the unusual behavior of two men outside his house and appeared to be “nosing” around.
“He decided to proceed to the resto-bar to drink beer despite of the 2 suspicious men in the neighborhood. Inside the bar, the two men approached him and started firing their guns on him,” said the neighbor.
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Meanwhile, Gubat police entered into its official blotter report regarding the incident about the Pura and Bronio killings.
Gubat police entered into its report: “A shooting incident transpired at Brgy. Pinontingan, Gubat, Sorsogon at around 1:15 AM on October 25, 2017 which resulted to the death of two (2) civilians who were identified as Edwin Escobedo Pura, 31 years old and Wilfredo Buenaobra Bronio, 41 years old, a widower, both residents of the abovementioned place while a certain Grace Merilo sustained gunshot wound.”
Police continued: “PSInsp Nicolas L. Malipot Jr., OIC of Gubat Municipal Police Station, in his report to PSSupt Marlon C. Tejada, Provincial Police Director, said that while Edwin Pura and Wilfredo Bronio were having a drinking spree inside Angie Bar when two (2) unidentified men, armed with Cal. 45 and 9mm, approached them and shot them several times which led to the instantaneous death of Pura and Bronio while Grace Merilo who works as GRO in the said establishment sustained gunshot wound. After which, perpetrators fled towards unknown direction while Merilo was brought to Gubat District Hospital for medical treatment. One of the victims, Edwin “Kiko” Pura is a former Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and Transport Group Leader in Sorsogon.” [BicolToday.com]