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Philippines: Another Central Luzon activist killed
Another CL activist killed
By Ding Cervantes
The Philippine Star 01/19/2006
MEXICO, Pampanga - Another militant leader was shot dead in her home in Barangay Divisoria here last Tuesday.
On the same day, the chairman of Barangay Pandakaki, also in this town, was fatally shot near his home, police said.
Senior Superintendent Dindo Espina, provincial police director, identified the victims as Perla Rodriguez, 60, local leader of the farmers' group Alyansang Maglalautang Capampangan (AMC) who was killed inside her home in Barangay Divisoria, and Barangay Pandakaki chairman Ismael Lampa.
Rodriquez is the third militant leader slain this year in Central Luzon. Last year, militant groups blamed the killings of 49 activists across the across on the military.
Police said Rodriquez was gunned down inside her home at about 7 p.m. by one of two men who arrived on board a motorcycle. Her grandchild, who was on her lap, was critically wounded.
Witnesses, including Rodriguez's 95-year-old mother, said the assailants did not hide their faces.
Earlier that day, at about 7 a.m., Lampa was shot dead with a pistol equipped with a silencer in front of his home in Barangay Pandakaki.
Espina said a suspect has already been tagged in the killing of Lampa. "The killer seemed to have been hired and investigators are eyeing politics in the case," he said.
Espina, however, said Rodriquez's killing seems to be "insurgency-related."
Roman Polintan, chairman of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Central Luzon, said Rodriquez was an active leader of AMC, which is allied with Bayan, in this town.
He cited reports that earlier last Tuesday, certain persons had been asking residents about the whereabouts of Rodriquez.
Last month, Victorina Gomez, 63, chairwoman of Barangay Parian, and her councilman Romeo Atienza, 45, were shot dead after attending an Army-sponsored meeting at the municipal gymnasium here.
While the Armed Forces' Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) blamed the New People's Army for the killing, militant groups insisted that military men under Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, commander of the Army's 7th Infantry
Division, were the culprits.
Earlier, the human rights group Karapatan-Central Luzon (Karapatan-CL) said the body of Armando Leabres, 42, a Bayan Muna coordinator in Nueva Ecija, was found in San Ildefonso, Bulacan last Jan. 11, a day after he was abducted from his home in Barangay San Jose in Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija.
Sr. Cecille Ruiz, who chairs Karapatan-CL, said Leabres, an employee of the Nueva Ecija Electric Cooperative II, had received threats allegedly from military men in his hometown.
As Bayan Muna coordinator, Leabres, according to Ruiz, was active in organizing workers of cooperatives into unions.
Peñaranda is situated near Fort Magsaysay where the 7th ID is based.
Last Jan. 7, Nilo Villalon, another militant leader in San Miguel, Bulacan, was also killed. - With Ric Sapnu