Source Pravda.Ru

Human rights activist and union leader shot in Philippines

A human rights activist and union leader was fatally shot in the northern Philippines, becoming the second left-wing campaigner to be slain in as many days, police and colleagues said Wednesday. Albert Terredano, 41, was walking to work on Tuesday morning at the Department of Agrarian Reform office in Bangued town, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) north of Manila, when a gunman alighted from a motorcycle and shot him, Bangued police officer Nardo Dengwas said.

Terredano died later in a hospital while the gunmen fled, Dengwas said. Terredano was the president of the Department of Agrarian Reform employees' union and a member of the Abra Human Rights Advocates and the Cordillera Indigenous People's Legal Center, two left-wing militant groups campaigning for human rights in the upland region of the northern Philippines.

The Rev. Jordan Rivas, Terredano's colleague in the Abra Human Rights Advocates, said Terredano had earlier told friends that he was under surveillance by men he recognized to be policemen.

Over the last few months, Terredano also had organized a local chapter of COURAGE, an organization of government employees that has been outspoken in criticizing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's administration.

Jude Bago, another colleague of Terredano's, said that while police had no suspects, "we view this as a trend that people who are critical of programs of the government are being killed." On Monday, unidentified men fatally shot Jose "Pepe" Manegdeg, coordinator of the left-wing Bayan Muna party. He was the seventh member killed this month and the 72nd since Arroyo took office in 2001, the party said. Military authorities often refer to left-wing groups as fronts for communist rebels, who have waged an insurgency since the late 1960s, reports the AP. I.L.

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