Davao del Sur Peasant Leader Shot Dead

Mar. 02, 2007

DAVAO CITY — Despite international pressure and assurances by government that it is doing its best to stop the killing of political activists in the country, the violence continues. This morning, a provincial leader of Anakpawis, the partylist organization running for Congress seats in this year’s election, was shot dead by assassins in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Renato Pacaide, 53, provincial coordinator for Davao del Sur of Anakpawis, was killed by two motorcycle riding assassins while walking with his daughter along Rizal Avenue in Digos City at around 10:45 a.m. Friday. Pacaide is also the secretary-general of the peasant group Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Davao Del Sur.

We hold the Arroyo government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines responsible for the killing of Pacaide,” Editha Duterte, Anakpawis-Southern Mindanao spokesperson, said Friday in a statement.

The victim is just the latest in the series of killings of political activists in the country. According to the human-rights group Karapatan, more than 820 have died in these killings since President Gloria Macagapal-Arroyo took office in 2001.

Investigation by a United Nations rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, as well as the Melo Commission formed by Arroyo, have pointed to the military as the main perpetrators of these atrocities. Many of the victims come from leftist groups such as Anakpawis and Bayan Muna.

According to Duterte, soldiers from the 39th Infantry Battalion under the command of Lt. Gerard Ho “have been campaigning against Anakpawis and its allied partylists in Davao del Sur.” The military, she said, has accused Anakpawis as being supported by the NPA or a front of the armed revolutionary movement.

“Such maneuvers of the AFP had put our lives in peril. By relentlessly linking us with the CPP-NPA, the AFP under the aegis of the Arroyo government is giving outright license to kill our members and leaders,” Duterte said. (Cheryll D. Fiel/davaotoday.com)

comments powered by Disqus