MANILA – A village head who protested the arrest of four of her constituents last year was shot dead by riding-in-tandem assailants in Iloilo province this morning, February 28.
Village chairperson Julie Catamin of barangay Roosevelt, Tapaz town in Capiz was headed home and was driving a motorcycle in barangay Malitbog, Calinog town in Iloilo province when she was attacked.
Earlier, her village mates reported that several men who identified themselves as members of the CIDG were looking for Catamin.
On February 25, Catamin was summoned to the military detachment in Haycon, Calinog by a certain Lt. Estrada who warned Catamin that her constituents should stop asking help from Bayan Muna and the church, or the same thing that happened last December 30 will happen to them.
Catamin had protested the arrest of her four village mates on December 30 last year, as she attested that they were innocent and that the weapons and ammunitions found in their houses were planted by the CIDG.
In a statement, Panay-based peasant group Pamanggas denounced the killing which they believed was government-perpetrated.
“Ito ay para busalan ang kapitan at para din takutin ang mamamayan na nagnanais na ihayag ang katotohanan sa nangyaring pagpatay sa siyam na Tumandok at pag-aresto sa 16 na iba pa (It was meant to gag (Catamin) as well as to repress people who want to tell the truth about the killing of the nine Tumandok and arrest of 16 others),” said Pamanggas.