Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Another BM leader killed

Another Bayan Muna leader killed
Posted 11:04pm (Mla time) Mar 15, 2005
By Joey Gabieta
Inquirer News Service

TACLOBAN CITY-Lawyer Felidito Dacut, Bayan Muna regional coordinator, did not finish his meeting with members of the militant group on Monday night because he had to buy milk for his 2-year-old daughter.

But Dacut, 51, was not able to purchase the milk. He was shot dead on board a passenger jeepney along Arellano Street here, about a kilometer where the meeting was held.

His wife, Amelia, was devastated when told by a nephew about the killing of her husband.

"We are seeking justice for the brutal killing of my husband who was a good man, a good husband and father to our daughter," said Amelia, 47, and a nurse of Basey, Samar.

The Bayan Muna condemned the killing and pointed to the military as the possible culprit.

Nelson Nirza, Bayan Muna Eastern Visayas information officer, said they believed that Dacut's killing could be part of the "clearing operation" by the military against their group.

"There could be no other reason for his (Dacut) killing. He was a top official of the Bayan Muna in the region and our group was being identified by the military (as a front) of the insurgency movement (New People's Army)," he told the Inquirer.

Major Gen. Jovito Palparan, 8th Infantry Division commander, denied the allegation and assured that he would participate and assist in the investigation of the case.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casi¤o asked Palparan to stop any harassment directed at his group.

"I call on Major General Palparan to issue a public statement regarding the assassination of Attorney Dacut and for him to order his soldiers in the field to stop destroying Bayan Muna which is a legitimate political group," Casi¤o said over Radyo Diwa dyDW.

Casi¤o and fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo authored a resolution urging an investigation of the killing of leftist activists.

"At the rate things are going, our party will have been wiped out by the next elections," Casi¤o said.

Casi¤o challenged members of Congress to talk to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the police in their respective districts and urge them to treat the party apart from armed revolutionary groups.

Nirza said Dacut was presiding over a meeting at their office in Old Road Sagkahan when at about 6:30 p.m., the lawyer asked to be excused because he had to buy milk for his daughter.

Dacut and a companion, identified only as Felix, boarded a jeepney. As the vehicle was cruising along Arellano Street at about 6:45 p.m., a motorcycle, with two men on board, drove near the victim.

One of the suspects shot Dacut at the back.

The victim was brought to the nearby Bethany Hospital but doctors declared him dead on arrival. The single bullet pierced Dacut's heart.

Amelia, 47, said her husband had been receiving death threats on his mobile phone, but chose to ignore them. "He had no personal enemy. He immediately gave help to those who asked," she said, sobbing.

Senior Insp. Felix Dacut, a younger brother who works at the Police Regional Headquarters in Palo town in Leyte, also expressed the family's wish for justice. With a report from Michael Ubac in Manila



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