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WHAT WENT BEFORE: Activist killed since collapse of talks with Reds

CALL FOR JUSTICE Members of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines demand justice for Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez, who was gunned down by unidentified assailants on Monday in Jaen, Nueva Ecija, during a condemnation rally at Jamboree Rotunda on Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Student activists, human rights defenders, leaders of peasant and indigenous groups, and members of urban poor communities have been reported killed since the collapse of peace talks between the government and communist rebels last month.

On Nov. 28, two human rights workers on a fact-finding mission were gunned down by two motorcycle-riding men in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental province.

Elisa Badayos, coordinator of human rights group Karapatan in Negros Oriental, and Elioterio Moises, a member of Mantapi
Ebwan Farmers Association in Bayawan City, were on board a habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) when they were shot by two men at 3:40 p.m. in Barangay Nangka.

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Carmen Matarlo, 22, a Cebu coordinator of Kabataan party-list group, was wounded.

On the same day, military and police forces engaged New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas aboard two vehicles in a firefight at the adjacent villages of Aga and Kaylaway, along the dimly lit part of the Tagaytay-Nasugbu highway, killing 15 people, including two female university students.

The military tagged the slain rebels, including student activists, as “full-time” guerrillas.

On Dec. 3, Leovelito Quiñones, 57, a pastor of King’s Glory Ministry and a resident of Sitio Anapla, Barangay Don Pedro, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, was shot dead while driving home.

According to Karapatan, the military claimed that the pastor was a member of the NPA.

In Mindanao, on the same day, Karapatan reported that government troops massacred a group of T’boli and Dulangan Manobo at Sitio Datal Bong Langon, Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato province.

On Dec. 4, around 8 p.m. Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez, former parish priest in Guimba and currently coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in Central Luzon, was shot while driving his vehicle at San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija province. —INQUIRER RESEARCH

Sources: Inquire Archives, www.karapatan.org

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