Saturday, October 16, 2004

NR1016: AP coordinator killed in Leyte

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release October 16 , 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Celphone number 09213907362

Anakpawis coordinator in Leyte killed last night for defending consumers,
workers' rights

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today expressed outrage over last
night's cold-blooded killing of 40-year old Samuel Bandila, Regional
Coordinator of Anakpawis National Political Party-Southern Leyte, in Barangay
65 Pio de Legaspi. He was on the way home from the picketline of protesting
employees of the Leyte Metropolitan Waterworks District Employees Association
(LMWDEA). Bandilla was also an organizer of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)-Tacloban,
and head of the Popular Struggles Department of the local chapter of the Bagong
Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN).

Bandilla was killed in the midst of the strong campaign of the LMWDEA against
water rate increases and other anti-people, anti-consumer resolutions and
decisions of the Philippine Association of Water Districts (PAWD). The LMWDEA
launched their strike yesterday morning, October 15, in protest against the
illegal firing of 26 employees of the PWAD.

Pandilla had just left the strike area with three other officials of the LMWDEA
on board a tricycle, when they were overtaken by two men on a motorcyle. The
two men fired their gun on Bandilla and his companions and fled.

Bandilla was declared dead on arrival at the St. Paul's hospital after
sustaining two bulletwounds on the nape and on the head. Once of his
companions, Bernie Deavaras who is treasurer of the LWMDEA, was rushed to the
Intensive Care Unit and is in critical condition. The two others who were with
them have not been hurt, but are currently in the protective custody of human
rights and people's organizations because they are witnesses to the crime. They
describe the killers as dark-skinned, medium-built - around 5'7 ft in height,
and middle-aged, in their forties. They say that they will be able to identify
the killers if presented in a line-up.

The LMWDEA has issued a statement condemning the crime, and said that it's
possible that PAWD president Engr. Ranulfo Feliciano has something to do with
the killing. Bandilla has been very vocal in exposing the alleged corruption of
the latter, and has earlier distributed documents to the local media documents
pointing to the purported corruption of Feliciano.

Immediately after the shooting, two employees of Feliciano - Jose Raagas and
Arnel Salentes were seen passing the scene of the crime, also on board a
motorcyle. They stopped at the scene shortly, then immediately left towards
the direction taken by the gunmen.

"Whoever this Engr. Ranulfo Feliciano is, he will have to be made to explain
what part he might have played in this killing. The murder of Samuel Bandilla
is political in nature - he was killed in his defense of the political and
economic rights of consumers and workers in Leyte," Beltran said. "It's an
outrage that yet another political activist has been killed in the conduct of
his advocacy."

Beltran said that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) should coordinate
with the LMWDEA , Anakpawis and other human rights groups in Leyte and
investigate the killing. He said that the campaign Bandilla led against water
rate increases, illegal retrenchment and other anti-consumer, anti-worker
policies of the local water is all-too connected to the comprehensive fight of
all Filipinos against the national government's privatization policies and
anti-labor stance.

Bandilla in the sixth Anakpawis coordinator killed since November 2003. The
other Anakpawis leaders were killed by the military, but none of the
perpetrators have been brought to justice.#


Post a Comment

<< Home