Archive for the ‘murder’ Category

A Filipina dies in the Binghampton, NY bloodbath

April 5, 2009

Dolores Carbonilas Yigal, an immigrant of the United States for two years was among the 14 people who died when Jiverly Wong (aka Jiverly Voong,) 41, the Vietnamese gunman barged and opened fire in the American Civic Association building where immigrants and refugees were taking language classes and citizenship tests. Initial report indicated that Wong, also an immigrant, was despondent of being jobless with poor language skills.

“Binghamton has always been a lure for immigrants. More than 7,100 immigrants, most of them Asians, have settled in Binghamton since 2005, according to city statistics. They are a cosmopolitan mix of Kurds, Chinese, Filipinos, Africans, Iraqis—but only a fraction of the city’s predominantly white population of 43,000.’—Inquirer /AP/ AFP (04/05/09, Uy, V)

The Filipina from Cebu was studying English in the civic center in preparation to work and join the mainstream of American life. Her dream was cut short like the other migrants from 8 countries who died on Friday, April 3, 2009, mostly of multiple gun shot wounds.

Omni Yigal, the husband of Dolores said his wife dreamed of working with children. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sent a representative to assist and console the Yigal family. (Photo Credit: AP/ Matt Rourke x 2 ) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “14 dead in a shooting spree in Binghamton, New York” Posted by mesiamd at 4/04/2009

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14 dead in a shooting spree in Binghamton, New York

April 4, 2009

“Our prayers are certainly with the family members. I know it was at the American Civic Society. I have a lot of very, very close and dear friends there.” —Sen. Thomas Libous, Binghamton-R http://www.pressconnects.com/article/20090403/ (04/03/09)

For reasons that were not yet known, a man of Asian descent opened fire in a civic center for immigrants and refugees in Binghamton, a quiet town in the Southern tier of New York. Thirty seven (37) people managed to scamper out of the building where citizenship classes and English language training were held. At least 13 others died in a 3 minute shooting spree on Friday morning, April 3, 2009. Armed with pistol, the mysterious gunman was found among the dead presumably by self-inflicted wounds.

There were at least 5 wounded survivors including a Chinese student were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment. Apartments and schools close to the place where the bloodbath occured were evacuated.

From the ID found in the crime scene, the suspected killer was Linh Phat Voong, 42, of Johnson City, New York. Police are still trying to determine if the ID truly matches the real identity of the person responsible for killings. The premeditated massacre which is still being investigated is just one among the five mass slayings that occurred in US recently. (Photo Credit: DJP7) =0=

UPDATE: April 4, 2009: Before the bloodbath, the Vietnamese gunman was distraught because of poor English skills and job loss.

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The forgotten Reynaldo Galman & his disappeared mother Lina

March 6, 2009

Reynaldo Galman condemns the granting of executive clemency to the 10 imprisoned convicted killers who blame Rolando Galman, his father, as Ninoy’s murderer. Joining the the family of Ninoy Aquino, he decries the fact that the brains behind the Aquino-Galman murders on August 21, 1983 remain undisclosed. He believes his father tagged by the Marcoses as a communist killer is just a fall guy in the blatant plot to kill Ninoy Aquino.

Barely an adolescent when the gruesome murders took place in the airport, son Reynaldo Galman could only recall his ordeal after his father was killed. He was only 10 years old when mother Lina Galman was abducted by unidentified men, never to be seen again after the airport murders investigation began. With only a sketchy memory of his parents to keep, Reynaldo lived the life of an orphan.

After more than two decades, many of the principal players who could have shed light on the heinous incident have died. They refused to tell the truth until the memory of the Filipinos has faded. President Gloria M. Arroyo thinks it’s now the ripe time to set free the incarcerated killers in spite of the unresolved questions surrounding the case.

The 10 soldiers of the Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM) part of the team tasked to provide security to Ninoy have stuck to the official Marcos story which portrayed Rolando Galman of Nueva Ecija as the killer. They insist the “hitman” broke the cordon of their very tight security. But the Aquinos, the Galmans, and the majority of the Filipinos who followed the investigation don’t believe this.

The ugly tail of injustice wags mockingly on Reynaldo Galman who lost a father. Like the Aquinos and the rest of the aggrieved Filipinos, he is one among the victims who waged the People Power in revulsion to the tarmac murders and government corruption. Yet this isn’t enough to make Arroyo desist from favoring the convicted military men in her discretionary clemency. She probably doesn’t know Reynaldo Galman and the rest of the Filipinos have been affected by the murders. Her political nemesis, Pres. Cory Aquino, the widow of Ninoy, aged and ailing, is mum over the pardon.

As one can see, life isn’t fair even on Ninoy Aquino whose towering life could have changed the course of the country’s governance. For giving his life, the martyred Marcos rival has been admired, but it didn’t take long before people forget his sacrifice. A number of his friends have abandoned his cause. Politics have a way of leading leaders like Gloria Arroyo to choose the low road against certain individuals—like Aquino who till his death insisted that “Filipinos are worth dying for.”

There are people who lie without conscience, condone moral aberrancy, and inflict incalculable cruelty on others. In the guise of handing down social justice, they welcome public apathy and forgetfulness, so that no one bothers to question. Expediency and rationalization have been part of how politics work in the country. (Photo Credits: Hoy_Sushi; Britt01)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “Pardon and (In)justice: Ninoy’s killers freed” Posted by mesiamd at 3/05/2009

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Cagayan de Oro radioman shot

March 6, 2009

As Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo asks the judiciary to hasten the adjudication of human rights cases, a mediaman, this time a radio announcer of Cagayan de Oro was shot and seriously wounded by unidentified gunmen in the city on Thursday, March 5.

Radio broadcaster Nilo Labares of the dxCC Radio Mindanao Network was rushed to Maria Reyna Hospital in critical condition.

Cagayan de Oro City Vice Mayor Vicente Emano declared a “shoot to kill” order for the police officers tasked to investigate and apprehend the gunmen.

The shooting incident follows last month’s slaying of Ernesto Rollin, another radioman in Misamis Occidental, the first media person to be killed this year and the 99th since 1986. Rollin of dxSY-AM in Ozamiz City was gunned down at about 5:30 AM in Oroquieta City. His murder was condemned by the Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres.) In a statement, the international group said:

“”We firmly condemn the murder of Rollin, the latest victim of a culture of violence and impunity that has ravaged the media in the Philippines for too long…he motive has not yet been established but the modus operandi indicates it was a contract killing ordered by Rollin’s enemies and carried out by professional hit-men,” —GMATV News (02/24/09) (Photo Credit: Paulo Ruiz) =0=

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Pardon and (In)justice: Ninoy’s killers freed

March 5, 2009

Those who followed the news of the grisly killing of Ninoy Aquino more than two decades ago couldn’t easily believe the freeing the 10 soldiers convicted of the assassination. They never imagined Pres. Gloria Arroyo, in her exercise of executive power pardoned the convicts just as easily as she pardoned Pres. Joseph Estrada of his ignominious crimes.

Released Convicts

ex-Capt. Romeo Bautista
former 2/Lt. Jesus Castro
ex Sgt Ruben Aquino,
ex Sgt Arnulfo de Mesa
ex Sgt Rodolfo Desolong
ex Sgt Arnulfo Artates
ex Sgt Claro Lat
ex Sgt Ernesto Mateo
ex Sgt Filomendo Miranda
ex Constable 1st Class Rogelio Moreno

There was no admission of guilt from the soldiers convicted of Ninoy’s fatal shooting on August 21, 1983 when he arrived in Manila after a three-year exile from United States. The soldiers beholden by military code of silence pointed to Rolando Galman, tagged by the Marcos dictatorship as the communist hitman out to kill Marcos’ chief political opponent. Though the mastermind of the crime was not known nor punished, Pres. Cory Aquino believed it was Marcos who was behind the murder. Upon learning of the pardon, the ailing Ninoy’s widow refused to comment.

Accusing Pres. Arroyo of “abuse of discretion,” Sen. Noynoy Aquino, Ninoy’s son, said “Society has an obligation to transmit a message that if you commit a crime, you must pay for it,..They haven’t owned up to their sin. Why were they freed when they have yet to ask for forgiveness?”

In a reaction, Sen. Francis Pangilinan said that the “sad reality about all this is that only the small fry have been made to suffer….Until the masterminds are known and punished for their dastardly deed, we will never have closure to this brutal murder case.”—Inquirer (03/05/09)

It was for “humanitarian reasons” that the executive clemency was given. Government officials were unmindful of the need to apply the law consistently so as to hammer the message of what crime and punishment must be. They are convinced the killers had suffered enough and they took it upon themselves to decide it’s time to set convicts free. In so doing, they have been dismissive of the injustice endured by the Aquino family, the Galman family, and the nation that Ninoy left behind. (Photo Credit: dead_mullen)=0=

Reynaldo Galman & his mother Lina

Reynaldo Galman, the son of Rolando (believed to be the fall-guy in the Aquino assasination) condemns the pardoning of the 10 convicted killers who continue to point to his father as Ninoy’s murderer. The brains of the Aquino-Galman murders remain unkonwn.

After more than two decades, many of the principal players who could have shed light on the heinous incident are either ailing or have died of natural causes. The 10 soldiers of the Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM) tasked to provide security to Ninoy have upheld the official Marcos story which pointed Rolando Galman as the killer. Many Filipinos think Galman was indeed a fall-guy to cover up for a greater conspiracy to kill.

Reynaldo Galman could only recall his suffering after he lost his father. His mom Lina Galman was abducted by unidentified men and disappeared without a trace soon after the airport murders. He lived as an orphan, became a nurse, then later worked in the Middle East. =0=

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US-Mexican drug bust yields 750 suspects, $59 million worth of drugs & weapons

February 26, 2009

Affirming the gravity of the drug wars in Mexico, federal agents from the United States have rounded up 750 suspected members of narcotics cartels from south of the border. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) picked up more than 50 drug gang members in separate overnight raids in California, Minnesota, Washington DC, and various US cities.

The arrests were mainly Sinaloa cartel members who were linked to the bloody drug wars over controls of narcotics smuggling routes in Mexico and USA. In a international law enforcement operation which spanned for about 2 years in Mexico, USA and Canada, had earlier snared 700 notorious law-breakers in the crime wave. $59 million worth of drugs and weapons, $12,000 kg. of cocaine, 1200 kg. of methampethamines, more than 1,300 ecstasy pills and 160 weapons were recovered.

“The department (US State) warns of the increased border violence and advises revelers to several destinations, including Matamoros and Nuevo Progresso, popular destinations for spring breakers on South Padre Island, Texas, to ‘exercise commonsense precautions such as visiting only the well-traveled business and tourism areas of border towns during daylight and early-evening hours.’“ —AOL News/ AP (02/25/09, Barrett, D)

Attorney General Eric Holder says the illegal narcotics trade, kidnappings, and murders have crossed over into the US territory. The problem can be minimized if the ban to sell assault weapons which are used in turf wars of drug kingpins is reinstituted.

About 6,000 people died in drug-related violence last year. American law enforcers laud Mexican president Felipe Calderon’s on-going campaign against narcotics cartels which exert influence over corrupt government officials.

Because of the dangers brought about by illegal drugs, money laundering, and narctics traffic, the US State Department has issued warnings of violence, kidnappings, and murders to prospective American travelers. This advisory is extended to an estimated 100,000 US students who’re planning to come to Mexico in the coming spring break. Private individuals have to take responsibility to counter the drug problems in their community. (Photo Credit: Aziritt) =0=

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Narcotics war in US-Mexican border worsens

February 12, 2009

After 6,000 people died in drug related murders in Mexico last year, the slayings have no signs of stopping. Mexican police discovered five bullet-riddled vehicles on February 11, 2009 in a wave of killings that brought new fatalities, a result of gang violence escalating South of the border. Drug lords have become bolder to instill fear and challenge the government of President Felipe Calderon in his effort to curb the narcotics trafficking, drug cartels, kidnappings, and vendetta murders.

About 80 miles south of the border from El Paso, Texas, in Villa Ahumada, a small village of 1,500 people, fresh violence erupted. Last year, the town was virtually overrun by savage drug gangs last year when two consecutive police chiefs and two officers were murdered. For fear for their lives, the remaining 20 members of the police force quit their jobs. The Mexican military had to take over.

On Tuesday, February 10, 2009, nine individuals were kidnapped and six of them were believed to have been executed. A shoot-out which rescued three people resulted to the bloody death of seven gunmen and one police officer. —–Yahoo.News.com / AP (02/11/09, Watson, J)

Many citizens have died senselessly in the crossfire of gang violence. The rise in criminality is a cause of concern for United States and Mexico whose shared Southern border has been a favorite conduit of narcotics trade and serves as entry point for illegal aliens in North America.

With the slump of the economy in the United States, many Mexicans have lost their jobs and turned into drug trade and abductions for ransom. The dollar remittance of expatriate Mexicans which shore up their country’s economy has slowed.

It is said that if the warring drug kingpins learn to get along, by joining forces, they have the strength to trash President Calderon’s administration. Drug lords and their minions have increasing influence in Mexican society; their nefarious activities have crossed over the USA. There is real danger of chaos which can distabilize and bring down the government. (Photo Credit: Guachito Caletano; MashGet x 2) =0=

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Mexican narcotics gangland: 5,376 murders in 2008

December 9, 2008

If terrorism which alarms the Indians in Mumbai and Pakistanis in Islamabad, half around the world, the Mexicans are worried about the escalation of narcotics-related deaths. Organized slaying south of the border of the United States has doubled since the start of the year. Illegal drug dealers have been fighting for narcotics dominance in their location.

Mexican law enforcement has also been hit by the biggest corruption scandal in a decade in recent months, as more than a dozen high-ranking officials in police and prosecutors’ offices have been detained or charged for allegedly passing information to the cartels.”—AP (12/08/08, Castillo, Ed)

Compared to the 2,477 slayings of last year, the number of drug related deaths in 2008 rose to 117 percent, a total of 5,376 murders. The number is more than 1.5x than the casualty of the terror of 911. The brutal killings in Mexico were results of long-standing quarrels involving trade routes, street sales, and leadership in the narcotics cartel.

The wave of beheadings, mutilations, and shootings prompted the US government to release $197 million, part of the $400 million assistance to support Mexico’s police and soldiers in a cooperative campaign against narco-terrorism.

According to reports, the rise in murders coincides with the split of the Beltran-Leyva gang this year from the dominant cartel headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman igniting fightings between competing factions. Moreover, the weakening of the US economy has left many jobless Mexicans lured to the drug business.

A sharp decline in border crossings from Mexico is noted as few jobs for laborers, mainly in agriculture and service jobs, are available. Rising unemployment fuels the illegal drug trade and crime.(Photo Credit: 3.bp.blogspot.com)=0=

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Radio Broadcaster Leonilo Mila of Samar, shot dead

December 3, 2008

In another depressing news, Leonilo Mila, a radio personality in Northern Samar reportedly died of gunshot wounds inflicted by unidentified men on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 outside his office in San Roque, Napares, Barangay Zone 3.

Mila reportedly died on site of the shooting with wounds from a 45-caliber pistol on his torso, legs, and head.

The announcer of Radio Natin had been known for his expressed opposition against taxation leveled by the National People’s Army (NPA) on villagers in the area, an angle of the senseless killing the local police is investigating. No suspects to this day is in custody. —Inqurer (12/03/08, Kwok, Abigail)

The brazenness and brutality of this killing again reminds the government and the people of the dangerous path the country is taking. Without a sincere effort by the government and the citizenry to curb these murders and ferret out justice, living in the Philippines will be at one’s own peril. (Photo Credit: Backroad+drifter)=0=

RELATED BLOGS:RELATED BLOGS: Another gruesome journalist’s slay Posted by mesiamd at 11/17/2008; “RP’s 2008 Press Freedom Rank: 142nd out of 173 nations,” Posted by mesiamd at 10/26/2008; “Deteriorating Human Rights Record: another journalist shot dead in Camarines Sur,” posted by mesiamd at 08/16/08.)

UPDATE:The horrific pattern of antagonism and violence against journalists in the Philippines is a disgrace and must end,” said the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ Asia-Pacific) said in a reaction to the death of Aristeo Padrigao, a staunched critic of illegal logging in Mindanao.

Calling for justice, IFJ, bewails the helplessness of RP to stop the killings which have claimed the lives of 61 journalists since 2001 according to the Nuational Union of Jounrnalists in the Philippines NUJP. Inquirer (11/18/08, Kwok, A)

RP’s 2008 Press Freedom Rank: 142nd out of 173 nations

October 25, 2008

The Reporters Without Borders’ Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2008 had the Philippines ranked 142nd out of 173 countries in the order of decreasing press freedom. This is a sharp drop from number 128 in the previous year, indicating the continued deterioration of press freedom in the country.

High in the index list are Iceland, Luxembourg, and Norway which share 1st place. Countries like Turkmenistan (171st), North Korea (172nd), and Eritrea (173rd) are in the bottom heap. Corruption, according to the international watchdog, is mainly to blame for the decline of press freedom which “eats away democracies…”

Sec. Cerge Remonde, chief of the presidential management staff, thinks this is just a matter perception not reality— even if from year 2001 more than 50 journalists have been murdered in the Philippines. Another 800 civilians disappeared (desaparecidos) or died from premeditated killings. The perpetrators of these crimes including those done by the military remained unpunished. (See my blog entitled “Deteriorating Human Rights Record: another journalist shot dead in Camarines Sur, 08/16/08.)

Remonde says press freedom is very lively, aggressive and free in the country, but he didn’t look into the dangers which cause journalists to die on the job. Such distorted pronouncements on the plight of journalists and media men (Inquirer, 10/25/08, Burgonio, TJ) aggravates the lack of trust and cynicism of Filipinos towards government authority. Some sectors dismiss Remonde’s statement as a lie, part of the reasons why human rights don’t improve in the country. (pkj_jason) Photo Credit:=0=