By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – The municipal coordinator of Anakpawis in Mawab, Compostela Valley was gunned down by still unidentified men last May 25, according to Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) chapter.
Eddie Cañon, 43, was shot several times by suspected agents in Nuevo Iloco village, Mawab town on May 25. In a text message sent to Bulatlat.com, Hanimay Suazo, Karapatan-SMR secretary general, said the victim sustained 13 gunshot wounds all over his head and body.
Suazo said that before the incident, elements of the 66th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, particularly a certain Sgt. Castillo, Dante Ramirez, a certain De Cuenca and Rey Santiago) vilified Cañon’s affiliation with Anakpawis.
As of press time, members of the Karapatan-SMR are on their way to the site of the incident to gather further details.
Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano condemned the killing.
“We demand justice for the extrajudicial killing of Eddie Cañon. The perpetrators of his killing must be arrested and jailed. We blame the military and the government’s Oplan Bayanihan anti-insurgency campaign for this latest case of politically-motivated extra judicial killing of our coordinator,” Mariano said.
Mariano said Cañon’s killing could be related to the military’s campaign against leaders of progressive groups that protested against the government’s inaction and responsibility for the devastation brought by typhoon Pablo last year. Mawab town was one of the hardest-hit areas affected by typhoon Pablo.
Last March 4, Cristina Morales Jose, a typhoon Pablo survivor and community leader of Barug Katawhan who led the protest of Pablo victims at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office, was shot dead by suspected government agents in Bagangga, Davao Oriental.