Farmer shot while halting demolition

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Monday, July 21, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- A farmer attempting to stop the ongoing demolition activities at Barangay Maimpis here was shot over the weekend.

A Sun.Star Pampanga source said that the said demolition at the 130-hectare agrarian reform area started last week by the claimant identified as lawyer Eligio Mallari, a former official of the Commission on Human Rights.

In the midst of the negotiations between the farmers and the operators, however, two unidentified members of the demolition team shot one of the farmer-leaders, said a witness.

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"When we were about to talk to them about the demolition activities, they went down their vehicles and two of them pointed their guns at us," said farmer-leader Jomer Santiago.

The victim, who was critically wounded, was identified as 29-year-old Guillermo Padua.

According to another witness, the demolition team immediately escaped after the incident on board a white truck, an orange van, and three jeepneys with plate numbers DXW 525, DXW 303, and DCC 459.

Meanwhile, according to one of the farmers, the incident only ignited their interests to fight for their rights to reclaim the land.

"We are looking forward to seeing Atty. Mallari so that he would be able to know how angry the farmers are with regards to his recent demolition operations," said Santiago, adding that Mallari has always declined to meet them.

Currently, the City of San Fernando police is still trying to trace the suspects while Padua is still in the hospital.

Sun.Star Pampanga tried but failed to reach to Mallari at press time. (Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 22, 2014.

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