Assault on student activists continues

Jun. 22, 2009

By Media Mindanao News Service
(August 15, 1987 News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988 Posted by Davao Today)

OZAMIS CITY (MMNS) — A student activist was “salvaged” while another was wounded in two separate incidents in what is feared as a “systematic campaign to silence student activism in the campus.”

“Salvaged” was one Celso Balighot, a third year education student at Misamis University (MU) and part-time worker at Misamis Hospital. He was picked up still unidentified armed men while on his way to the hospital at about 7 pm, August 3. His body was found the next day in Clarin town, four kilometers from this city.

Wounded was Melchor Zaragosa, a graduating forestry student of the same university. At around 7:30 pm, July 30 two unidentified armed shot him hitting his cheek. The bullet went through the other cheek. Doctors said he is now in safe condition.

The two belonged to the militant League of Filipino Students (LFS). LFS sources pointed out the “unchanging trend of student repression reminiscent of the Marcos era.”

It must be recalled that barely a week after the May 11 election, the residence of Ronnie Tapayan, another LFS member this city was raided by “Kuratong Baleleng” vigilantes. Tapayan escaped and is presently in hiding. Kuratong Baleleng was formally organized last May and claims control of the 51 barangays of this capital town. This is headed by former CHDF Octavio “Ongkong” Parojinog.

Two months later (July 4), two badly-mutilated hogtied bodies of LFS members were discovered at a garbage dump site in Cabili village, Iligan City. The “salvaged” victims were identified as Pedro Bahian, 20, a resident of Initao, Misamis Oriental, and Adversan Laure, 20, of Lugait, Misamis Oriental. Both were studying at St. Peter’s College, Iligan City.

LFS disclosed that vigilantes in the area have been active in monitoring the activities of the organization and other “progressive” student organizations in the MU campus.

“Despite the resurgence of darkness, we remain steadfast to our commitment to serve the Filipino students in particular, and the Filipino people in general,” one LFS official stressed. (Media Mindanao News Service News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988 Posted by Davao Today)

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