Twin Killings

BY Johann Hein B. Arpon

Within a week, motorcycle-riding gunmen had turned two women into widows and five children fatherless, as political killings continue in Eastern Visayas.

On Nov. 7, at past 5 p.m., Jose Ducalang, municipal coordinator of Bayan Muna-Ormoc City was gunned down in Brgy. Ipil, Ormoc City by motorcycle-riding perpetrators. He died while being treated at the Ormoc City Sugar Planters Association-Farmers’ Medical Center (OSPA-FMC) in Ormoc City. He was father to three teenagers.

On Nov. 14, in Maydolong, Eastern Samar, Bienvenido “Benben” Bajado the Secretary-General of Bayan-Eastern Samar and former vice-mayor of the said town was gunned down, also by motorcycle-riding perpetrators. He was shot six times in the head, legs and back, and died on the spot.

Bajado was actively opposed to the destruction caused by mining in Eastern Samar and in the islands of Homonhon and Manicani. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Both surviving families are pointing at the military for the assassination. Both were members of progressive organizations which the military have consistently branded as “fronts” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and “enemies of the state.”

Jaja, the eldest daughter of Jo Ducalang narrated that Jo was a good father and had no personal enemy. In an interview with Bulatlat, she showed a piece of paper with “19th” scribbled on it. This was what her wounded father wrote at the hospital and when asked if he was referring to the army battalion assigned in their area, he nodded his head.

Celia, the wife of Bienvenido Bajado expressed her anger at the murderers those who were killing with impunity. She said: “I don’t expect justice to rendered to my husband with our present justice system. I’d rather call for the overhauling of the entire system”.

According to Pong Acbo, Spokesperson of BAYAN-SB: “This is a new wave of killings. Even if Jovito Palparan is no longer assigned in the region, funding continues for the systematic attack by the regime of Macapagal Arroyo and the 8th IDPA of the critics of the administration.”

“The notorious criminals or the death squads in the military ranks are acting with impunity while the families and the people are shouting for justice for the victims,” Acbo added.

According to Bayan Muna-Eastern Visayas documentation, seven leaders of Bayan Muna were killed during the time Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan was assigned in the region. Three other killings happened after he was transferred from his post last August. Five other cases were counted as frustrated murders, while there were also other counts of threats and harasssments on offices and leaders of Bayan Muna from the provincial formations up to barangay levels.

“Bayan is calling on all patriotic and democratic forces and people of the region, the church sector, the media sector, the cause-oriented groups and the local officials to determinedly stop, confront and defeat in all the fields of battle this militaristic, anti-civil rights and terroristic regime of Macapagal-Arroyo and the agents of the state that carry out this policy,” Acbo said. (

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