MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Bayan leader killed for fighting mining'

Published by MAC on 2006-05-29

'Bayan leader killed for fighting mining'

29th May 2006

Manila Times - http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=40159

Left-wing group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) on Monday claimed its Southern Tagalog leader Noli Capulong was killed for openly speaking against mining activities in the region.

Arman Abarillo, BAYAN-Southern Tagalog secretary general, denied claims that Capulong was killed by another left-wing activist.

Chief Superintendent Prospero Noble, chief of the Southern Tagalog police office, said Capulong was seen with a Bayan Muna chapter leader before he was ambushed last Saturday.

The two had come from a meeting in Barangay Parian in Calamba, Laguna, which tackled housing for informal settlers, Noble said. The barangay officials refused the interference of the group in the housing issue.

Noble said the Bayan Muna chapter leader insisted the group mediate and was reportedly disappointed with Capulong. After the meeting ended, the chapter leader left first, he added.

Capulong was driving his jeep when gunmen on a motorcycle shot him four times. He died while being treated at the Saint John Hospital in Calamba.

Noble said police is not ruling out other motives behind the killing. “This could be part of a rightist group’s effort to destabilize the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, human rights group KARAPATAN staged demonstrations in front of Camp Aguinaldo on Sunday to condemn Capulong's murder.

Activist organizations claimed that since Mrs. Arroyo became president in 2001, a total of 601 activists have been killed. At least 68 of those slain are women.

Since January this year, activists have recorded 46 political killings in Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol and Southern Mindanao.

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