Five activists shot dead in Southern Tagalog raids

Five activists were killed and at least three others were arrested in what appeared to be government crackdown on progressives in Southern Luzon early this morning, March 7.

Groups likened the simultaneous raids on progressives’ offices and homes to “Oplan Sauron” – the joint police and military operations first conducted in Negros island, and most recently in Panay island, both resulted in mass killings and arrests of high-profile leaders and activists.

As of this writing, posts on social media by progressive groups Pamantik-TK and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the police were serving “search warrants” to the victims in simultaneous operations at 4 a.m. in Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Batangas.

Killed were:
* Manny Asuncion, coordinator of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan-Cavite), who was killed in a raid at the Workers’ Assistance Center (WAC) in Dasmariñas City, Cavite
* Melvin Dasigao and Mark Lee Coros Bacasno of San Isidro Kasiglahan, Kapatiran, at Damayan para sa Kabuhayan, Katarungan at Kapayapaan (SIKKAD K3) in Kasiglahan Village, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal.
* Ariel Evangelista and wife Chai Lemita-Evangelista were killed inside their hut in barangay Calayo, Nasugbu, Batangas.

The couple’s 10-year-old son reportedly hid under a bed and witnessed the killing. Police were serving the search warrant issued by Judge Jason Zapanta. Ariel was a staff of the Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwawasak ng Kalikasan at Kalupaan (UMALPAS KA), the peasant group in Hacienda Looc. Police reportedly whisked away the victims’ remains after the operations. The Lemita family found the bodies at the John Paul Funeral in Nasugbu.

News courtesy of Bulatlat. Read more: