Mayor’s assassination linked to black sand mining controversy | Inquirer News

Mayor’s assassination linked to black sand mining controversy

/ 04:03 PM April 21, 2014

Gonzaga town Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr. PHOTO FROM

MANILA, Philippines—After Gonzaga Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr. was gunned down in front of a municipal hall on Monday, his assailants scattered flyers with a cryptic message.

The flyers read in Ilocano: “Hustisya para iti kaaduan, dusaen dagiti utek ti dayuhan a minas iti Cagayan.”


(Justice for all, punish the brains of illegal mining operations by foreigners in Cagayan.)


More than 50 armed men stormed the town hall grounds and one of the gunmen pumped a bullet into Pentecostes’ head, just moments after the mayor led a flag-raising ceremony in Gonzaga, Cagayan province.

Pentecostes died of a lone gunshot wound to the head.

“Awan ti rumamraman; ni mayor lang ti kasapulanmi ditoy (No one should intervene; we only want the mayor),” one of the attackers reportedly said.

Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, Philippine National Police Public Information Office chief, said in a press briefing that politics could be one of the reasons behind the killing.

In October 2012, Pentecostes ordered the arrest of Esperlita Garcia, an anti-mining leader, for posting an allegedly libelous account on Facebook about a mining issue.

The Gonzaga mayor reportedly harassed the activists in an anti-mining demonstration in the town on April 30, 2011.


In a previous Philippine Daily Inquirer report, it said Garcia is president of the Gonzaga Alliance for Environmental Protection and preservation, a people’s organization that has been leading the opposition to the magnetite ‎ sand extraction project operated by Chinese firms in Gonzaga.

The companies were allowed by the Cagayan provincial government under Pentecostes to mine magnetite sand or black sand.

Amid reports that the armed men were suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members, Sindac said the police have yet to find out if the report were true.

Police are still hunting down the assailants.


Cagayan Mayor shot dead after flag-raising ceremony

Cagayan anti-mining leader arrested over Facebook post

Mayor shot dead after flag-raising ceremony

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TAGS: Cagayan, Carlito Pentecostes Jr., Crime, Gonzaga, Killing, mayor, PNP‎, Police

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