Roxas condemns killing of Sumilao-farmer leader

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today condemned the ambush-slay of a famer-leader in Sumilao, Bukidnon and called for an immediate investigation into the incident.
"Mariin kong kinukondena ang walang-saysay na pagpatay sa lider-magsasakang si Rene Penas, na buong tapang na ipinaglaban ang mga karapatan ng ating mga magsasaka, lalo na ang kanyang mga kasamahang Sumilao farmers," he said following reports that Penas, a long-time member of the Akbayan people's group, was killed by a still unidentified man late Friday night.

"Malaking kawalan si Ka Rene sa hanay ng mga magsasaka. Nakakalungkot na isang putok lamang ng baril ng isang bayarang assassin ang naging katumbas ng kanyang mga ipinaglalabang karapatan at prinsipyo. Nararapat lang na bigyang solusyon agad ng ating mga awtoridad ang krimeng ito," he added.
Penas was shot by a hired assassin at around 11 p.m. Friday while bringing home his farm caretaker. Penas, also a paralegal, has been actively fighting for farmers' rights in Sumilao. He is a strong advocate of reforms in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) law and was among the hundreds of farmers and farm workers pushing for an extension of the program for another 5 years.

The Visayan senator urged local government and police officials in Sumilao to track down the identity of Penas' assassin and identify the mastermind behind the ambush-slay.
"Walang mararating ang ating bansa kung patuloy na mananaig ang dahas upang kitilin ang mga hinaing ng bawat mamamayang naglalabas lamang ng kanilang mga hinaing laban sa gobyerno at sa mga liping mapang-api," he said.

He added: "Bigyan natin ng katarungan ang pagpaslang kay Ka Rene! Patuloy nating ipaglaban ang mga karapatang buong sugid niyang itinulak hanggang sa kanyang kamatayan."



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