Fish vendor wounded in NPA attack dies

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 May) – Larry Buenafe, the fish vendor who fell into coma for five days after being seriously wounded in a New People’s Army (NPA) attack against Lapanday Foods Corp. Saturday morning, died at 4 a.m. Thursday.

Buenafe was riding his motorcycle early last April 29 in Purok 8, Mandug in this city en route to Tigatto when a landmine planted by the NPA as a “demolition action” against the reinforcing troops of Task Force Davao exploded at 5:30 a.m., a few hours after they attacked the Lorenzo-owned Lapanday box plant in Mandug.

“It is a sad day for Davao City. I am sorry we lost Larry, a victim of delusional people living in an alternate universe who are now celebrating their so-called victory against oppression. But it is a celebration that means nothing except grief for the true victims,” Mayor Sara Duterte said in a statement issued Thursday.

Duterte said the fish vendor was “murdered by people who think that it will make a difference if they punish the Lorenzos by burning their factories.”

She said that on Saturday morning, she called Buenafe’s wife, Ruth, to inform her that her husband was in a critical condition at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). He underwent head surgery on the same day, according to the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

“The couple never had a chance to talk because Larry fell into a coma. Earlier that day, one of the last text messages that Larry received from Ruth was a one-liner ‘I love you.’ The message was unread. Ruth never received any reply,” the mayor said.

She said the attacks, described as “punitive actions” of the NPA to dispense social justice, made “a blowing, heartbreaking difference – to a widow, to a daughter, to a son” and to the workers who are now jobless and are the true victims of the attacks by “a shady group who claims to be the true army of the people.”

“It did make a difference, but definitely not to the Lorenzos because their wealth is still there, tucked safety somewhere. Of course, their business issues do not in any way affect their lives,” Duterte said.

The mayor lambasted the NPA by saying the attacks last Saturday and Buenafe’s death should serve as reminder to the “twistedness of an ideology and the monsters behind it, how they employ fear and terror in their attempt to cloak their insignificance and the obsolescence of their political belief.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)