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ATTACK ON ACTIVISTS

Pamalakaya member gunned down in Batangas town

/ 05:19 AM October 15, 2018

SAN PEDRO CITY—A member of a militant fisherman’s group was shot dead as he was on his way home to Lian town in Batangas province.

Pagkakaisa ng mga Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday sent out an alert on the killing of Victor Villafranca, a member of its local chapter Haligi ng Batangueñong Anakdagat (Habagat).

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Pamalakaya claimed that Villafranca was the sixth fisher-activist slain under the Duterte administration.

According to police, Villafranca, who also worked as a contractual worker at a distillery plant in the town, had just clocked out of work around 5 p.m. on Saturday when attacked by a pair of gunmen.

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SPO4 Rafael Panganiban, Lian police spokesperson, said Villafranca was hitching a ride on the motorcycle of a coworker when he was shot.

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Villafranca’s coworker, Rolan Jonson, was not hurt, Panganiban said.

The gunmen fled on foot.

Gregorio Arcon, Pamalakaya vice chair, said Villafranca had long been an active member of Habagat, which had been protesting land conversion and military presence in the town.

In Lian, soldiers and law enforcers had been distributing leaflets denouncing militants.

Police, however, said they were not aware that Villafranca was an activist. They said he did not have any known enemy.

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“He had no record, not even drugs,” Panganiban said .

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TAGS: Haligi ng Batangueñong Anakdagat, Pamalakaya, slain activists, Victor Villafranca
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