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    Karapatan, COURAGE condemn newest EJK in Southern Tagalog

    Sectoral groups led by the human rights alliance KARAPATAN-Southern Tagalog (ST) held an indignation rally today, 8AM at Crossing Calamba City to condemn the latest case of extrajudicial killings (EJK) under the Aquino regime.

    Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez, 41 years old, was gunned down by motorcycle-riding men around 5:30PM yesterday at Brgy. Halang, Calamba. Rodriguez, a long time union leader, is the president of Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District and a member of the militant public sector organization COURAGE (Confederation and Unity of Government Employees)-ST. His death brings the number of EJK victims in the country under the Aquino administration to 22, and 7th in the ST region.

    Some 100 protesters from various sectors joined the protest action, carrying with them placards calling for the immediate justice to Rodriguez’ killing. They were later joined in by members of COURAGE and leaders from Metro Manila.

    Earlier, a fact finding mission (FFM) was conducted to document the killing. Data from the FFM showed that Rodriguez, who suffered 4 gunshot wounds, was on his way home when two motorcycles followed him along Brgy. Halang, Calamba, fronting Coca-Cola plant. Initial reports revealed that the gunmen were aboard a Honda Wave motorcycle.

    Glen Malabanan, Secretary General of KARAPATAN-ST, said that this latest attack on union leaders manifests that the Aquino administration is trudging the same bloody path as that of his predecessor—former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    “Aquino is no different from the previous regime where scores of cases of extrajudicial killings were accounted under the counter-insurgency program OPLAN BANTAY LAYA 2 which was extended by Aquino until January 2011”, Malabanan said. “OBL has been targeting political activists, attacking everyone the government considers as “leftist,” she added.

    Rodriguez is the second activist killed in the Southern Tagalog region in a span of six days.

    Last November 7, Ireneo Rodriguez, a farmer and member of the Samahan ng mga Magbubukid sa Batangas (SAMBAT) was shot dead in Balayan Town in Batangas by two masked men who were also riding a motorcycle.

    “Unless his government scraps OBL, we fear the killings and human rights violations will continue,” Malabanan said. ###

    Reference:  GLEN MALABANAN,

    Secretary General, KARAPATAN-ST

    karapatan.st@gmail.com

    November 13, 2010

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