Killing of community organizer shocks NGO

By Carla Gomez
Visayas Bureau
Last updated 08:19pm (Mla time) 07/11/2007

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — The non-government Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)-Negros condemned on Wednesday what it called the treacherous killing of a leader of its partner-organization in Isabela town, 78.2 kilometers south of here.


Danilo Gelvoligaya, 55, an advocate of sustainable rural development and chairperson of the Camang-camang Community Development Association was killed by a still unidentified assailant Saturday.


Gelvoligaya was the provincial convenor of the Association of Sustainable Agriculture Practitioners in Negros, the provincial farmer’s formation that is PRRM’s partner.


He also sat as national council member of Sakahan, a national farmer-peasant federation allied with PRRM and also headed the barangay (village) agrarian reform committee, according to Edwin Balajadia, PRRM-Negros area manager.


Gelvoligaya was on his way home to Barangay Camang-camang with his daughter and grandchild when he was gunned down by a lone bonnet-masked assailant, Balajadia said.


He was crossing a hanging bridge when he was shot from behind with a homemade shotgun by the killer, who calmly walked away through a sugarcane field, Balajadia said.


“Nong Dan’s untimely demise is a big loss to the local rural reconstruction movement,” Balajadia said.


His death shocked many who knew him because he was an amiable, well-mannered and good person who served his organizations and community well and reportedly had no known enemies in Camang-camang, Balajadia said.


His death showed “the havoc wrought by the continuing wave of violence, social unrest and political repression in some parts of the Negros countryside, which had spawn the harassments, forced abductions and killing of militants and other social reform advocates,” he added.


PRRM urged the Isabela municipal government and the police to fully investigate the killing and give Gelvoligaya’s family justice.


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