By Reynard Magtoto
SORSOGON CITY – Rights’ groups lit candles for the victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and injustice in Bicol region during simultaneous prayer rally on Wednesday.
To Date, Bicol region already has 54 reported cases of EJKs since Rodrigo Duterte became president of the country.
“We should have a prayer rally to pray for the victims of EJKs to have justice. And to have peace here in our province, in bicol region and even around the country because till now our country has rotten society,” Hermie Fortun of Karapatan Sorsogon said.
Among provinces in the region, Sorsogon tops the record of EJK cases with 24 victims. Camarines Sur has 13 EJK victims; Masbate has 11 recorded EJKs; and 3 EJKs in Albay and Camarines Norte respectively.
Just last Friday evening, October 12, victim Emilio Guab was gunned down while watching a basketball game at the covered court of Lajong Elementary School, Juban, Sorsogon.
One of the three unidentified men drew his .45 caliber and shot Guab several times that caused his death.
According to Fortun, Guab was a village councilor and the Sports Committee Chairman in Bgy. Lajong, Juban.
“Until now we are constantly alarmed because of the highly increasing number of EJKs in the province of Sorsogon. This [prayer rally] is a way to awaken the Filipino people here in the province on what Duterte government actually doing during this period especially here in the province of sorsogon,” said Alex Castidades of BAYAN – Sorsogon.
Meanwhile, rebels in the province accused the Phil. Army 31st IB stationed in Juban town responsible for Guab’s killing.
In a statement, Samuel Guerrero, spokesperson of the NPA-Celso Minguez Command, said the 31st IB has secretly implemented the “neutralization” of suspected NPA sympathizers, all civilians, out of frustration for failing to engage legitimate NPA fighters in combat operations. (BaretangBikolnon.com)