2 market group leaders gunned down in Cavite
SAN PEDRO CITY – The president and another leader of a market vendors’ group in Trece Martires City in Cavite province were shot and killed by a lone gunman in their stalls on Wednesday night, police said.
The incident, which happened at 10 p.m. in the city market’s annex building, came at the height of the city government’s renewed efforts to lock down the market and force vendors out.
A case related to the leases of market stalls was earlier filed by the Trece Martires City Market Annex Association in the Regional Trial Court Branch 23, as the vendors insist on their right to lease the stalls until 2027.
In a telephone interview on Thursday, Supt. Egbert Tibayan, city police chief, confirmed the deaths of Merly Valguna, 50, the group’s president. Also killed was another market leader, Rodora Mallari, 47.
Manny Asuncion, secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Cavite, said the vendors stayed up late to guard their stalls from an impending “clearing operation” by members of the city government’s civil security group.
“[Valguna and Mallari] were talking with each other when the gunman approached and shot them. They were even able to run a few meters away with their hands covering their ears, until they both fell on the ground,” Asuncion said, citing accounts of Bayan members who witnessed the incident.
Tibayan said footage from a security camera showed the gunman wearing a helmet.
Two days before the attack, members of the city government’s licensing office came to implement a closure order. CDG
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.