A HUMAN rights group un northern Mindanao yesterday linked the military to Sunday night’s killing of an urban poor organization leader in Valencia city.
The victim was identified as Candelario Ayuda, 42, chair of the Kilusan ng Mamamayan in Valencia.
Ayuda was shot dead while driving a "motorela" at the Valencia city proper around 10 pm, Sunday. He was on his way home.
Karapatan regional coordinator Beverly Musni alleged that the assailants were members of the Military Intelligence Company (Mico) based in Bukidnon.
Musni said Ayuda was an organizer of the party-list group Bayan Muna.
The army’s 4th Infantry Division spokesperson, Maj. Nathan Sagun, strongly denied Karapatan’s allegation.
"That is a hasty conclusion by Karapatan, a fallacy," said Sagun.
Sagun then lashed at Karapatan. ‘‘When the NPA (New People’s Army) carries out a killing spree, they are silent.’’
However, Musni said the denial aired by Sagun would be measured against the unsolved killings of 745 other militants, activists and journalists in the country.
"Witnesses can prove that it was the military," Musni said.
Police said Ayuda’s killers used a caliber .45 pistol. They said two gunshot wounds in the back killed the militant leader.
"He died on the spot," police said.
Investigators reportedly recovered six slugs at the crime scene.
Police said they were still looking into the case and were trying to identify the suspects. They did not rule out the possibility that he was killed because of his involvement in militant activities. But they said there were other factors to be considered.
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