Peasant leader shot dead in NorthCot

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/20 August) – Unidentified assailants gunned down a known leader of a progressive farmers’ organization in Matalam, North Cotabato, around 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

Authorities identified the victim as Medardo Espina Barro, a.k.a. Dodong, a resident of Sitio Natipakan, Barangay Latagan in Matalam.

Reports said Barro was drinking with friends and relatives outside his house when two men, one of them armed with an M4 Armalite, shot him in his head, stomach and chest. He died on the spot.

Witnesses told police the attackers went straight to a black Toyota Hilux parked a few meters away from Barro’s residence after the shooting, and sped towards the town of Antipas, North Cotabato.

Police recovered from the crime scene three slugs from an M4 Armalite.

Some family members said Barro was active in organizing farmers in his village for the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Southern Mindanao region.

Police have yet to determine the motive for the killing.

Friends from his group said Barro was among those that opposed the deployment of additional soldiers in his village. (Malu Cadeliña Manar/MindaNews)