Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts

Volume 3, Number 2              February 9 -15, 2003            Quezon City, Philippines

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Human Rights Alliance Denounces Killings in Bicol

Sorsogon, Bicol--Two human rights activists, two peasants and a tricycle driver were killed allegedly by elements of the military and police and members of the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in separate incidents from November to January, in this province, the human rights alliance Karapatan-Sorsogon reported.


Tirso Ebuenga, 42, and Mario Estocado, 43, were members of Karapatan-Sorsogon and Sorsogon People’s Organization.  Ebuenga was shot at close range in his house in Barangay (village). Cabiguhan, Gubat, Dec. 4.  His wife testified that several members of the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army were seen roaming around their place before the killing, Karapatan said.

Twenty-three days later, Estocado was also shot, with 35 gunshot wounds sustained from M-16 rifles. Estocado’s relatives said he had received death threats from the military and was warned as the next target after Ebuenga.

On Dec. 29, farmer Rodolfo Lamo, 42, was shot several times. His house in Barangay Pili,  Magallanes was strafed by unidentified men riding in two motorcycles and armed with M-16s. Lamo's neighbors said that three Philippine Army soldiers were asking about the identity of the victim two days before the incident

A suspected sympathizer of the New People’s Army, Romulo Santiago, 37, was gunned down inside his house in Bgy. Monbon, Irosin in front of his wife, Jan. 4.  One month before the incident, a composite team of CAFGU and soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army surrounded their house and accused the victim of cooperating with the NPA.  He was told then, "Mag-iingat ka!" (Watch out!)  Santiago sustained two gunshot wounds in the body and one in the head.

Carlos Enaje, 48, was driving his tricycle in front of St. Anthony Academy in Bgy. Cogon, Rizal, Gubat when three unidentified men accosted him.  One of the men poked his .45 caliber pistol at Enaje, and shot him in the head.  Enaje was implicated in the killing of PO2 Bong de Vera last year.  The case was brought to court, but it was dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Before the series of killings in Sorsogon, another suspected NPA sympathizer was killed allegedly by three CAFGU elements in Vinzons, Camarines Norte.  Edgardo Mago, 27, was killed Nov. 30, at the plaza of Bgy. Aguilar. He was shot several times in the back, head and in the body. 

Meanwhile, Oscar Vines Galicia, 39, and a local leader of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), was seriously wounded when a CAFGU member pretending to be a member of the NPA barged into his house and shot him in the nape. 

Neighbors of Galicia said they saw the gunman accompanied by at least eight armed men believed to be members of the 31st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and CAFGUs. Bulatlat.com

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