Police official, farmer leader killed in Davao region

May 2, 2009 10:40 am 

DAVAO CITY, May 1 — A senior police officer (SPO) was shot to death by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Purok 11-B, Barangay Maniki, Kapalong, Davao del Norte Friday morning.

Kapalong police authorities identified the victim as SPO1 Rodrigo Barientos, 52, a resident of Purok 7, Maniki, Kapalong, Davao del Norte and assigned at San Isidro Municipal Police Station in Davao del Norte.

Investigation showed that Barientos, aboard his motorcycle (LR 4431), was on his way to his place of assignment when two men also riding in tandem on a motorcycle tailed him at about 7:30 a.m. Friday.

Upon reaching Purok 11 in Maniki, Kapalong, the gunmen shot Barrientos twice on the body, causing him to fall with his motorcycle on the pavement.

The gunmen approached the victim and pumped more bullets to finish him off, police investigators said.

The suspects fled towards Barangay Capungaan also in Kapalong. The suspects also carted away the victim’s .45 caliber pistol.

Inspector Mario Galindrez, officer-in-charge of Kapalong Municipal Police Station, tagged the New Peoples' Army as as Barrientos killers since he had been receiving death threats from the insurgents prior to the attack.

Meanwhile, a motorcycle-riding man, wearing a ski mask shot dead a militant leader of farmers who had been very vocal against the mining activities in their area in Boston, Davao Oriental Wednesday afternoon.

Lodenio Monson, chairperson of the Nagkahi-usang Mag-uuma sa Boston, succumbed to gunshot wounds after a lone gunman riding a DT motorcycle approached him and shot him.

Victim’s father-in-law Datu Talio Latiban, a tribal leader, revealed that around 4 p.m., Monson went down from his farm in Boston to hire a truck to be used in hauling his cut Falcata products.

Latiban said when his son-in-law was on his way back to his farm, a man wearing a ski mask and riding on a motorcycle met him halfway and suddenly shot him.

Latiban said Monson’s companion, whom he did not identify, escaped from the attack.

Latiban confirmed that Monson had been receiving threats since last year.

On October 7, 2008, Monson exposed the death threats he received from which he believed from the military.

Monson broke down as he narrated the circumstances which he believed led to the threats.

He said someone informed him that he became a target of assassination after a military intelligence report accused of coddling wounded New Peoples Army (NPA) members and he even helped in the burial of NPAs who were killed in encounters with the military.

Monson said he exposed the threats against him because he felt that someone was out there really to get him.

On March 27, this year, Monson again revealed that the threats against him had not lied low as he noticed that someone was already tailing him and conducting surveillance on him.

He added he was worried of his life since he remembered the brutal killing of Rebelyn Pitao, daughter of NPA leader Leoncio Pitao alias Kumander Parago, who was abducted and killed on March 4, 2009.(PNA)

RMA/Jessie L. Casalda/lvp


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