Transport leader shot in General Santos City
MANILA, Philippines — A transport leader was shot in front of his home by an unidentified assailant in General Santos City on Sunday.
Initial reports from local authorities identified the victim as Larry Villegas, 64, chairperson of the progressive transport group TIRES-PISTO and the coordinator of Bayan Muna in General Santos City.
Based on the initial investigation, Villegas was cleaning in front of his residence in Barangay Buayan, General Santos City at around 6:55 a.m. when the suspect arrived on an unplated motorcycle and shot him twice before immediately fleeing.
Villegas sustained a gunshot wound on his right thigh but is now in stable condition after he was being rushed to the hospital.
The suspect currently remains unknown as the authorities continue to conduct further investigation on the incident.
Attacks intensify amid upcoming elections
Meanwhile, House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate condemned the attack on Sunday, explaining that Bayan Muna’s coordinator, Villegas, was a victim of non-stop red-tagging “as he criticized the anti-people policies of the Duterte administration, including the current incessant oil price hikes.”
Zarate also said that Villegas is busy leading the preparations of Bayan Muna to support the Peoples’ Rally of the Leni-Kiko tandem in GenSan on March 15.
“As the May 9 elections draws near these attacks against the opposition are intensifying, especially the Makabayan bloc who are also all out in the campaign to support the Leni-Kiko tandem to defeat the Marcos-Duterte alliance in the elections,” he said.
“The undemocratic forces behind these attacks clearly want the status quo to continue and the candidates who will carry on these policies to win. This incident must be independently investigated and the perpetrators be held accountable,” he added.
This came just a few days after Anakpawis Party-list said that at least 12 of its volunteers, who were campaigning for Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan in Cavite, were arrested on Thursday.
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