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Farmer's leader shot dead in North Cotabato

Local News • 03:29 AM Wed Aug 19, 2015
Williamor Magbanua

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Unidentified motorcycle gunmen riding tandem on a motobikeshot to death a peasant leader in Arakan, NOrth COtabato on Tuesday morning, police authorities said. Superintendent Bernard Tayong, North COtabato Police Provincial Office (NCPPO) spokesperson, said the victim, identified as Joel Gulmatico, 58 years old, chairman of the Arakan Peasant Progressive Organization (APPO), was driving his motorcycle on his way to Barangay Naje proper when shot at close range by the suspects. The incident took place around 9:15 in the morning and about 700 meters away from the victims' house and at least 300 meters from the 57th Infantry Battalion detachment. He was traversing along the national highway when shot by the suspects, Tayong said. Gulmatico sustained two gun shots which caused his instant death. At least two empty shells for caliber 45 pistol were recovered at the crime scene. Norma Capuyan, chair of the Apo Sandawa Lumandnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato (ASLPC), condemned the killing and urged authorities to conduct deeper investigation for possible arrest of the suspects. Capuyan said the victim has no known enemies in his place aside from being active in helping farmers in their village. Gulmatico also served as three termer as village councilor in Barangay Naje and had helped improved the lives of the farmers in the area. He ran for village chair in 2013 but lost, Capuyan said. Capuyan said the victim also opposed the entry of military's Peace and Development Program (PDOP) in Barangay Naje. Justice must be serve to Joel and his family. Capuyan said.

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