Fact Sheet of Killings in Philippines
Ilocos Human Rights Advocates Fact Sheet
Ilocos Human Rights Advocates Fact Sheet
Name of victims:
- Rev. Pastor Billy Austin, BAYAN-Ilocos Chairperson UCCP Pastor (wounded)
- Lenville Salvador – Bayan Muna Ilocos Project Coordinator
- Avelino Dacanay – Chairperson, Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation STOP EXPLOITATION
- Fr. Randy Manicap –Convenor, Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR)-Ilocos
- Norte Zaldy Alfiler – Secretary General, STOP EXPLOITATION
- Pastor Lito Apalit – UCCP Pastor Chairperson, Ilocos Sur Human Rights Alliance
- Pastor Marcelino Mariano – UCCP Pastor Elmer Serrano, member, STOP EXPLOITATION
- Ancheto Pugyao, member STOP EXPLOITATION
Violation : frustrated extrajudicial killing
Date of incident : November 9, 2006
Place of incident : Del Pilar St., Vigan
Alleged Perpetrator/s : death squads believed to be military agents under the command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines/Philippine National Police
Details of incident : At about 9:00 in the evening, Rev. Pastor Billy Austin, Chairperson, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)-Ilocos, left the venue of the training on the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) at the United Methodist Church, Florentino St. The 3-day training, slated from November 8 -10, was participated in by churchworkers, peasant leaders and youth. It was given by the NDFP nominated section of the Joint Secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Committee. He was part of the group that was to proceed to the BAYAN office located in Del Pilar Extension near the Vigan Public Market. He was with Lenville Salvador – Bayan Muna Ilocos Project Coordinator, Avelino Dacanay – Chairperson of Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (STOP-EX), Fr. Randy Manicap – Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Zaldy Alfiler – Secretary General of STOP-EX , Pastor Lito Apalit, Chairperson – Ilocos Sur Human Rights Alliance, UCCP Pastor Marcelino Mariano, Elmer Serrano and Ancheto Pugyao, members of STOP-EX.
From the gate of the training venue, three of them (Austin, Alfiler and Salvador) noticed a motorcycle parked near the entrance of the United Methodist Church with two men onboard. They noticed that one of the men raise his hand as if flashing a hand signal. They decided to walk to the BAYAN office.
Ten meters away from the training venue, while they were walking along Del Pilar Street, they noticed motorcycle-riding men and a van tailing them. They noticed that there were three men and a woman aboard the van.
They continued to walk to proceed to the BAYAN office. Two motorcycles sped past them – one from behind and one from the direction they were walking to. The van sped past them from behind. The group split into two. When the group of Pastor Billy Austin reached Del Pilar Street, they noticed two men aboard a motorcycle without lights heading towards their direction.
Salvador and Austin who were walking ahead of the group noticed that the man behind the one driving the motorcycle raised his gun, aimed it at them and started to continuously fire.
Lenville Salvador immediately dropped to the ground to escape from the assassin’s bullets. Rev. Pastor Billy Austin tried to walk away from the direct line of fire. After Austin noticed that he was hit, he dropped to the ground, too. The assassins continued to fire at Austin while speeding away. The two ran to the BAYAN office after the shooting incident.
The motorcycle was described as blue, and similar to an XRM motorcycle. Salvador described the gun shots he heard as muffled. He believes that the assassins used a revolver with a silencer.
Dacanay, Pastor Apalit and Pastor Mariano ran back and met the other group. They again split into three groups – one proceeded to the Police Station to report the incident, the other went back to the training venue and the other went to the scene of the incident. The group that proceeded to the Police Station (Dacanay, Rev. Apalit and Pastor Mariano) were followed by motorcycle riding-men.
Austin was brought to the Lahoz Clinic & Hospital from the BAYAN office around 10PM by officers of the Vigan PNP led by Vigan Chief of Police Toricer after the incident was reported to them. He sustained two gunshot wounds – one on each leg. He was declared out of danger at about 10:30 p.m by Dr. Gerardo Lahoz.
Prior to and after the incident, church workers participating in the workshop observed motorcycle-riding men conducting surveillance on the training venue. Those who visited him at the hospital were also followed by a black van and motorcycle-riding men.
The three-day training was cut short because of the incident.
— Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR)
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