Another Anakpawis leader shot dead in ComVal

Jul. 10, 2007

COMPOSTELA VALLEY, Philippines The human-rights group Karapatan in Southern Mindanao condemned today the killing of another municipal and peasant leader of Anakpawis, who was shot dead in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province, on July 7.

Alfonso Capiales , 72, municipal coordinator for Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province, of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) was killed in his residence at Purok 12, Barangay Magsaysay, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley Province by two unidentified assassins at around 7:00 p.m. Saturday. Capiales is also the chairperson of Magsaysay Farmers Association (MAFA) and treasure of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Nabunturan (NAMANA).

Two plainclothes men armed with .45 calibre gun visited the house of Capiales in Purok 12. According to a witness, one of the assassins, whom the witness identified as a certain Lucio, entered Capiales’ house and immediately pointed his gun at Capiales who was sitting at the kitchen. Without a word, the gunman riddled Capiales’ body with bullets.

Prior to the incident, on July 4, Capiales was summoned by the military to the barangay hall in Magsaysay where he was accused of being a member of the New People’s Army together with other peasant leaders. Capiales denied the charge.

“We hold the fascist Arroyo government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines responsible for the killing of Capiales,” Kelly Delgado, Karapatan Southern Mindanao spokesman, said.

The victim is just the latest in the series of killings of political activists in the country. According to Karapatan, more than 867 have died in these killings since President Gloria Macagapal-Arroyo took office in 2001.

Investigation conducted by a United Nations rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, as well as the Melo Commission formed by Arroyo, pointed to the military as the main perpetrators of these atrocities.

According to Delgado, Capiales is one of the many victims who suffered the brutality of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and majority of the victims of these political killings come from progressive party-list groups such as Anakpawis and Bayan Muna.

“By relentlessly linking us with the CPP-NPA, the AFP is giving outright license to kill members and leaders of progressive organizations who are critical of the Arroyo government,” Delgado said.

“The implementation of the Human Security Act this July 15, 2007 will aggravate human rights violations. Instead of contributing to the termination of the unabated killings, which has drawn international criticism, the law can be used as an additional license for intensifying extrajudicial executions,” he added.

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