Activist Shot Dead in Laguna, Another Wounded


Extrajudicial killings are on the rise again. A leader of an urban poor organization was shot at by a lone gunman, at around 8:25 a.m., Monday March 23 at Bgy. Pook, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. She died while undergoing treatment.

The victim was identified as Sabina Ariola, 51, chairperson of Mamamayan ng Santa Rosa para sa Kagalingan, Kaunlaran at Kapayapaan (MSRK3), an urban poor organization in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. She was hit in the abdomen and died at 11 p.m. that day.

Her companion Adelaida Calosa, 48, was hit on the face by the same bullet that killed Ariola and is still undergoing medical treatment.

According to human rights group Karapatan, Ariola and Calosa were riding on an elf truck parked at the Metroville Subdivision in Barangay Pook, Sta. Rosa when the lone gunman climbed up and shot at them. The two were about to announce important urban poor concerns through the public address system attached to the truck when the attack happened.

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, secretary general of Karapatan, condemned the attack on the two women.

Enriquez lashed out at state security forces for targeting civilians, among them human rights defenders. “Arroyo’s death squads are still at it, they have targeted civilians, including human rights defenders and loved ones of armed guerillas,” she said.

The group revealed that extrajudicial killings are on the rise with 16 killed before the end of the first quarter of the year. “The killings are picking up again at an alarming rate of one victim per week. This is almost the same scenario in 2006, if not worse,” Enriquez said.

The group called on the Filipino people and the international community to keep up the pressure on the Arroyo government to put an end to the atrocities.(

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