Attacks on Leftists in Philippines Continue

Apr. 23, 2007

MANILA — The militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the ANAKPAWIS party list group condemned the latest attack on one of its leader in Central Luzon by forces of the military late last night as armed men looking for Ka Joseph Canlas, chairman of the ALyansa ng Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL), a regional chapter of KMP and ANAKPAWIS-CL coordinator forcibly entered his home in Barangay Balite, Arayat, Pampanga..

According to Ka Willy Marbella, internal deputy secretary general of KMP and ANAKPAWIS party list nominee, the death squads are really intent in crippling our organization in the vain hope that by terrorizing our leaders and members we would abandon our struggle for genuine land reform and a more just society. In this specific time frame their plan is stop us from campaigning for ANAKPAWIS and from further exposing the corruption and rottenness of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime,

The death squads and Gloria are dreaming if they think that we would abandon our principles. And mark our words justice will eventually be served to their victims, added the peasant leader.

Canlas said that, five of eight heavily-armed barged broke though the door of his house at about 10:30 pm and mauled his nephew to extract information when they learned that he was not at home.

Augusto Nicdao, his nephew was hit with rifle butts and sustained injuries, Canlas said.

The armed men who used a white van with no license plates searched the entire house and took the Nokia 1100 mobile phone of his nephew, Canlas said.

Only Nicdao, his wife and their one-year old daughter where in the house when the assailants came. Their clothes and other belongings were strewn and in disarray when the assailants left, Canlas said.

The assailants held Nicdao, his wife and daughter at gun point while they searched the house. Nicdaos wife, who was crying at the time was gagged by the assailants to minimize noise that might attract neighbors, Canlas said.

He said two armed men positioned themselves as look-out outside the house while five went inside. The driver sat inside the van which was parked nearby, Canlas said.

Canlas, who has been under intense surveillance since the long spate of abductions and extra-judicial executions started in Central Luzon in 2005 said he was in the vicinity but did not sleep in his house at the time of the attack.

If I was there, I would probably be dead by now. I suspect elements of the 703rd army brigade headquartered in Barangay San Juan Bano, Arayat to be behind this despicable attempt on my life, Canlas.

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