Monday, November 21, 2005

Even businessmen are being killed

November 18, 2005

Dear Friends,

The attacks against progressive, cause-oriented groups in the country are not stopping. In fact, the attacks have become more frequent and vicious.

After the killings of the last week of October ( labor union president Ricardo Ramos killed on Oct. 25 in Tarlac; partylist group Bayan Muna [People First] coordinator Ricardo Rivera and his two jogging companions, Dr. David and Mr. Maniti in Pampanga; and, transport organization leader Federico de Leon in Bulacan), another wave of killings is now going on in November aimed at leaders of the partylist group Bayan Muna or People First which the military has been vilifying as communist fronts and recruiters of New People's Army rebels. Bayan Muna emerged as the number one partylist organization elected in the 2004 elections despite the military's active campaign against the group.

On November 7, Bayan Muna Ormoc City coordinator Jose Ducalang was shot at the tricycle terminal in Barangay Ipil, Ormoc City, Leyte Island; he died on Nov. 10 at the hospital. On November 13, former Vice Mayor of Maydolong, Eastern Samar and Bayan Muna Eastern Samar chair Bienvenido Bajado was also gunned down and killed in Maydolong, Eastern Samar.

Today, November 18, 2005 at 11:00 AM, MR. RICARDO "DING" UY, 57 years old, Chairperson of Bayan Muna Sorsogon City, President of the Sorsogon Independent Media, Inc. (SIMRI) and Bgy. Kagawad (Village Council Member of Bgy. Basud) was shot dead inside his rice mill (Soledad Corral Uy Ricemill) located at the national highway, Bgy. Basud, Sorsogon City. Mr. Uy is a known businessman in the city.

Reports said that Mr. Uy was alone inside his ricemill when the perpetrator went inside and shot him at the back. Five shots were heard by a helper who was outside of the ricemill. When the shots rang out, the helper ran to the ricemill to see what happened. The perpetrator leveled his gun at the helper and shot him but there was no bullet anymore, so the perpetrator just left and walked to a motorcycle which was parked near the ricemill. The helper said that the perpetrator was a tall man, with long hair, wearing shades and a hat. Mr. Uy had 5 gunshot wounds; 3 in his body, 1 at the chin and 1 in his arm.

Mr. Uy anchored the 5-6 am Monday radio program at DZRS Sorsogon radio named " Kidlat Bareta asin Komentaryo" (News Flash and Commentary which runs at 5-6 am Monday to Saturday; Mr. Uy anchors the Monday slot). He was a hard-hitting critic of the militarization of the towns of Sorsogon and other policies of the government which he considered anti-poor.

Since last year, the military has been vilifying Mr Uy over the military's own radio program titled, "Ugnayan sa Kapayapaan," (Linking for Peace) at DZMS, another radio station, as a communist supporter and recruiter of the NPA. Mr. Uy was even included in the military's leaflets and propaganda materials being distributed in the city demonizing him as a communist supporter. A shadowy group by the name of Kilusan Kontra Terorista (KKT) is signed in the leaflets and statements.

Before his killing, Mr. Uy has been the subject of verbal attacks of the military in their radio program at DZMS for three consecutive Saturdays (the Philippine Army's program runs at 12:30-1:00 PM every Saturday).

Mr. Uy was a very active supporter of KARAPATAN, always participating in the fact-finding missions the human rights group conducted in the province.


From Marie Hilao-Enriquez
Secretary General

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