Another red-tagged farmer killed in Northern Mindanao
Riding-in-tandem armed men killed farmer Gerald Ral, 38, a member of the Balingasag Farmers Association (BAFA) and Hiniusang Mag-uuma sa Blanco (HMAB) last August 21 in Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental. BAFA is a local affiliate of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas in Northern Mindanao region.
According to KARAPATAN-Cagayan de Oro, Ral and his brother Erwin were preparing to deliver bananas to the market when the killing happened. He was previously red-tagged by the 58th IBPA as a supporter of the NPA and was called to the military camp several times by a certain Master Sgt. Nilo Wamelda.
The riding-in-tandem assailants first shot Ral in the back. When he fell to the ground, the gunman shot him three times in the head to make sure that he is dead.
“We condemn this heinous killing of another farmer. This bloody trail of killing leads to the AFP, the NTF-ELCAC and their horde of death squads,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.
Ral was an ordinary farmer and he seldom joined rallies and demonstrations because he is busy tending his banana farm. Sa kabila ng pagiging tahimik na tao ni Gerald, hindi siya takot na manindigan para sa kanyang karapatan at sa kung ano ang tama.
Before his killing, soldiers from the 58th IB conducting Civic Military Operations in Balingasag have constantly harassed Ral. He refused several times to sign a document from the military indicating that he is a NPA supporter surrendering to the government.
Ral is the son-in-law of former political prisoner and KMP Northern Mindanao leader Ireneo Udarbe. His wife and three children survive Ral. Ral’s killing came days after a strafing incident that killed peasant woman leader Veneranda ‘Didang’ Ginanao in Maramag, Bukidnon.
Justice for Gerald Ral!