TUGUEGARAO CITY (Dec. 19) — A youth leader was killed while a 64-year old farmer survived an attack in two separate incidents in Cagayan province, a local chapter of the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) reported yesterday.
In a statement e-mailed to the press, the council of leaders of Kagimungan condemned the latest spate of killings in Cagayan. The statement is particularly referring to the killing of Anakbayan member Nelson Asucena on December 15 and the attempted murder of Roque Frence on December 17.
Asucena was killed by suspected soldiers in front of their residence in Barangay San Juan, Rizal, Cagayan at around 10:30 o’clock in the evening of December 15, 2006. “Six men in full battle gear dropped by the Asucena’s residence and asked for water to drink. While Nelson was collecting the cups used, he was shot by the armed men who fled towards an army detachment in Bural,” the statement said.
The statement added that “the attackers are soldiers because if it were lawless elements, why would they run towards an army camp?”
The Philippine Army detachment in Barangay San Juan, which is a part of a known NPA-infested Zinundungan Valley, is led by 2nd Lieutenant Marcelo Pascua of the 21st Infantry Battalion.
Asucena is the Sangguniang Kabataan Chairman of his barangay and an active member of Anakbayan. Kagimungan demanded for an investigation of Asucena’s death.
On Sunday, three days after Asucena’s killing, Frence was shot by unidentified men in front of his residence in Torkiya, Cabiraoan, Gonzaga, Cagayan at around 7:00 A.M. A bullet penetrated his right leg. His neighbors rushed him to a hospital in Aparri, Cagayan but because he has no money to deposit, Frence was not admitted. His rescuers brought him back home for treatment.
Frence is a member of Dagup Igorot Association, an organization of Igorot migrants in Cagayan. He has closely worked with Anthony Licyayo, the chairperson of the Kagimungan peasant alliance who was slain last month.
In the past months, four persons were attacked by alleged “death squads” in Cagayan. Four of the victims died, among them Joey Javier, Anthony Licyayo and Nelson Asucena. # Abe Almirol for NORDIS