BACOLOD

Progressive groups condemn killing of peasant leader

BACOLOD. Progressive groups condemn the killing of a peasant leader and the illegal detention of two civilians in a press conference Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at the Negros Press Club office. (Carla N. Cañet)

MILITANT groups strongly condemned the killing of peasant leader Jerry Turga of Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental, on April 28.

Turga serves as the vice chairperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in the province. He was the 26th victim of political killing in Negros. He sustained 10 gunshot wounds in his chest and stomach.

Antonio "Ka Tonying" Flores, KMP secretary-general, said a bystander was also wounded. The victim's 14-year-old son was able to escape from the shooters who rode in a motorcycle.

KMP-Negros believed it was the alleged workings of local warlords and state security forces.

"Turga was killed brutally, meant to ensure his death in front of his son. This is the worst kind of terror victimizing farmers and civilians," said Flores in a press conference Wednesday, May 9, at the Negros Press Club office.

President Rodrigo Duterte's Oplan Kapayapaan and Armed Forces of the Philippines’ intense militarization have unleashed the worst kind of terror inflicted to farmers and civilians, he said.

They said 141 activists and leaders of progressive organizations were killed from July 2016 to March 2018. Of the number, 123 were farmers and peasant leaders.

Meanwhile, Rey Alburo, secretary-general of Northern Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (NNAHRA), along with the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) and Karapatan-Negros, strongly condemned the arbitrary arrest and illegal detention of two civilians on May 1.

Julie Ruel, 22, of Barangay Guadalupe in San Carlos City, and Emarine Pastedio, 20, of Barangay Jonob-Jonob, Escalante City, were supposed to attend a birthday party in San Carlos when they were arrested by the Philippine Army after they were tagged as members of the communist group.


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