NPA statement served as warning for slain mayor

WHILE the death of Laak Mayor Rey Navarro remains a mystery to his family, friends and constituents, an earlier statement issued by the New People's Army (NPA) appeared to be a warning against the slain mayor.

Ka Aris Francisco, spokesperson for the NPA-Comval-North Davao South Agusan Sub-regional Command, in a statement e-mailed to Sun.Star on May 22, linked Navarro to illegal logging activities in his town.

"For as long as local reactionaries like Navarro continue to make big business out of the remaining forest resources, the NPA will impose measures to protect the environment and peasants, lumads and masses who suffer from the effects of rampant logging," Francisco said.

"Fascist troops who continue to violate human rights of peasants while plundering the forests are legitimate targets," he added.

The NPA accused Navarro as a part of the "Big 4 logging lords." This was denied by the slain mayor.

The rebels sent video clips to the media that allegedly showed "rampant logging in several interior roads in Barangay Ampawid and Barangay Andap."

"Proof that actual logging is taking place in Laak town," Francisco said.

The NPA also claimed that there were cutting of trees monitored in Barangay Titoy and Datu Davao.

Navarro previously said: "Laak was merely a transit point of trucks coming from the boundary of Agusandel Sur, site of logging operations."

Meanwhile, Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy condemned on Wednesday the murder of Navarro, whom he considered as the "black eye" of the province.
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