Militants bury slain colleague

MILITANT Bayan Muna members buried Friday a colleague, Jim Gales, who was shot dead in Barangay Little Panay, Panabo City nine days after the local elections.

A funeral march was held in tribute to Gales by Bayan Muna. Gales was a member of the regional secretariat of Bayan Muna before he was killed. Gales's murder is yet to be resolved by the local police.

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Bayan Muna national vice president Joel Virador said the killing of Gales is clearly "another manifestation of the culture of impunity that prevails in the region."

"The escalating number of unresolved killings of activists and members of progressive organizations and hundreds of innocent civilians who are victims of various forms of human rights violations shows the culture of impunity in our country," Virador said in a phone interview.

"It is disheartening to have another good man's life snuffed out mercilessly. Gales has been very active during the campaign sorties of Bayan Muna in the city," Virador said.

Meanwhile, Virador expressed his opposition to the recent military deployment in Davao region. The militant leader said the deployment refreshes accounts of human right violations with the upsurge of military presence in the region.

"The deployment of military troops in the region shows that even with an incoming government, the military is bent in continuing the anti-people and rabid counter-insurgency policy of Oplan Bantay Laya 2. Just like in the past, human rights violations will be the order of the day," he said.

"Desperate is the word for the Arroyo regime who is continuing its attacks against unarmed civilians. The deadline of OBL is fast-approaching, set before the end of Arroyo's presidency on June and they are hell-bent on meeting this deadline," he said.

"Crushing the insurgency by attacking innocent civilians will only fuel more people to resist this fascist government," Virador added. (JCZ)

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