By Ben Serrano
Riding-in-tandem suspects now target leaders and members of progressive groups in Caraga affiliated with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan as a farmer activist in Agusan del Norte survived a gun attack in Jabonga town.
The victim,Imelda Gagap, 48, former barangay captain of Maraiging, Jabonga was sleeping inside her store when riding in tandem gunmen opened fire past midnight on Saturday.
Gagap is a leader of Unyon Sa Mga Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Norte (UMAN), an affiliate of leftist farmer’s group
Magbubukid sa Pilipinas.
Gagap was the third victim of gun attacks against militant activists in Caraga this month alone .
On November 23, farmer leader Vivencio Sahay, chairman of UMAN-KMP was shot dead in front of his house in Barangay Calamba, Cabadbaran City.
Days before Sahay’s killing, peasant leader Perfecto Hoyle was killed by two motorcycle-riding gunmen in Barangay Canaway, Kitcharao.
The murder of Hoyle, a preacher of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) happened near the detachment of the Army’s 29th Infantry Battalion in Kitcharao, militant groups said.
Human rights group Karapatan said the assassinations of leftist leaders could be linked to the counterinsurgency campaign under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.