Ang Bayan
July 21, 2019

Villagefolk foil abduction attempt

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Residents of Ba­ra­ngay Bi­to-on in Ja­ro District, Iloi­lo City foiled the abduction attempt against Wilfre­do “Tay Pi­do” Pa­nue­la, 65, leader of the Ka­ti­ling­ban sang mga Imol sa Syu­dad (Kai­sog), by state agents this month.

Two intelligence agents were held and brought by the villagefolk at the barangay hall. Without providing any identification, they claimed that they are members of the Phi­lip­pi­ne Army and the Na­tio­nal Bu­reau of Inves­ti­ga­ti­on. Panuela and his wife Josephine have long been subjected to harassment due to their participation in the struggles of the community.

Maura Abellon, leader of the Ka­li­pu­nan ng Da­ma­yang Ma­hi­hi­rap in Pa­nay and Gui­ma­ras, believes that the government is behind the attempted abduction, attacks and harassment against urban poor leaders who are resisting demolition and condemning human rights violations. On July 8, the group trooped to the police headquarters in Iloi­lo City.

On July 7, Salvador Romano was murdered while aboard a motorcycle at Agli­pay St., Pob­lacion, Manju­yod, Neg­ros Ori­en­tal. He was a former staff of Ka­ra­pa­tan Neg­ros and is currently a member of the Igle­sia Fi­li­pi­na Inde­pen­di­en­te (IFI). He is the 48th victim of extrajudicial killing in Negros under the Duterte regime.

Harassment against church people criticizing the regime’s crimes and violations of human rights continue unabated in the island. Military elements are currently looking for Rev. Joel Beng­beng of the Uni­ted Met­ho­dist Church (UMC) in Can­la­on City and Rev. Bri­an Ascuit of UMC in San Ped­ro, Sta. Cruz to purportedly talk to them.
In Ilocos, soldiers are conducting so-called visits under the Joint Cam­pa­ign Plan Ka­pa­na­ta­gan to harass members of the IFI, UMC and the Uni­ted Church of Christ in the Phi­lip­pi­nes.

AB (2019-07-21): Villagefolk foil abduction attempt