BY ANGEL AYALA
In a recently-passed resolution, the Sorsogon provincial board stated that the political killings in the said province have already reached “horrific proportions” and that it has “sent fear” among Sorsogueños, “whose character were inherently God-fearing and peace-loving and has been subsequently besmirched.”
The provincial board of Sorsogon (604 km. south of Manila), which is part of the Bicol region in southernmost Luzon, has condemned what it described as a spate of political killings in the said province.
In a recently-passed resolution, the Sorsogon provincial board stated that the political killings in the said province have already reached “horrific proportions.” They also stated that for the past few months, the series of unsolved killings in the province has “sent fear” among Sorsogueños, “whose character were inherently God-fearing and peace-loving and has been subsequently besmirched.”
They further said that whether those killings were motivated by political principles that call for reforms or otherwise, “The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon earnestly appeal (sic) to higher authorities and our brothers on the other side of the law to preserve peace and order in the province, and come up with more civil and agreeable terms for the general welfare of the our people,” the resolution read.
The pronouncement was that, if these senseless killing would continue, it will “concomitantly result in the retrogression of the social and economic well-being of the province and will damage whatever gains we have established.”
The human rights group Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) has recorded 26 cases of political killings in Sorsogon from 2001 to May 2006.
The most recent incident was the brutal killing of barangay (village) chairman Neal Fulatan, a member of Bayan Muna (People First)-Irosin, Sorsogon chapter last May 9, 2005. He was shot dead while attending a concert in the barangay auditorium. Initial investigation revealed that a lone gunman wearing a hat and shirt shot Futalan at close range then escaped aboard a motorcycle. Fulatan suffered six gun shot wounds in different parts of his body.
On March 19, Cris Hugo, a resident of Irosin and a regional coordinator of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) was also shot dead while on his way home to his boarding house and on January 30, Max Frivaldo, a municipal councilor of Irosin, chair of the committee on human rights and coordinator of Bayan Muna-Irosin was shot dead while tending to his baby at home.
On Nov. 18, 2005 Ricardo “Ding” Uy, chairman of Bayan Muna’s Sorsogon City chapter and president of Sorsogon Independent Media Reporters Inc was shot dead inside his rice mill.
In a statement, Bayan Muna Sorsogon condemns the brutal killing of Neal Futalan and all the victims of human rights violation in the province.
“Iisa ang mensaheng gustong ihatid sa atin ng nagpapatuloy na pamamaslang ng mga aktibistang miyembro ng progresibong party-list: ang patahimikin at wasakin ang ating nasimulang pagbabago sa pulitika. Ngunit nagkamali sila sa puntong ito. Higit na lalakas, lalawak at magpapatuloy ang anumang pagbabagong nasimulan ni Kasamang Neal Futalan” (The continued killings of activists belonging to progressive party-list groups have only one objective: to silence us and halt the changes we have started in politics. But they have made a mistake at this point. Any change begun by our comrade Neal Futalan can only further be strengthened, grow and continue.) (Bulatlat.com)