Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Afdal wants end of violence in Labangan

Labangan, Zambosur – For Mayor Abubakar Afdal, the series of extra judicial killings targeting his political supporters and relatives is an act perpetrated by “evil persons” who are out to eliminate him, sooner or later, for good.

The killings are ill-tined, he said in an interview inside his residence and purely for political motives.

Aftdal was referring to the deaths of his cousin Rascal Afdal, Hanira Agcong and Steve Tapodoc, the mayor’s executive secretary and a candidate for the town council, who were all killed in a span of two weeks.

Afdal believes the killing of his supporters is being perpetrated to end his clout in Labangan, one of the vote-rich municipalities in Zamboanga del Sur.

“Dako gyod kayo ko ug pagtoo nga politika ni ug dili Rido sama sa gisulti sa uban. Election gun ban pa, ngano mapatay pa ang tawo, mao ni ang pangutana nako?” the Mayor asked.

The death list is long, Afdala claimed, as evidence by several text messages he received. “mohangyo nalang unta ko nga undangon nila ning pagpamatay sa akong mga tawo kay looy kayo ang ilang pamilya nga nabilin mga bata pa kayo ang ilang mga anak.”

“Sana mag-isip-isip sila, kasi kawawa naman ang mga bata,” he said

Last January 18, the Liberal Party (LP) took the cudgels of Afdal and condemned the gruesome murders of his political supporters and demanded a thorough investigation to find the killers so that justice could be meted out.

Afdal and his nephew Vice Mayor Kiti Nandang are presently allied with the LP.

Senator Mar Roxas in a statement said the killings “could be the kick-off of organized violence against opposition candidates and supporters to sabotage the widely-expected opposition victory in Mayo 10 elections.”

Roxas called on the comelec “to take drastic steps to stop the rising poll-related incidents violence, or risk demanding the credibility of the elections.”

Roxas added that there is a need to replace the entire PNP contingent in Zambosur to quell the apprehension of LP leaders and supporters who expressed concern that the gunmen maybe men in uniform. “Moonlighting or co-opted to do their dirty work for pro-administration candidates in the region.”

Without naming names, Afdal said he knows who are the mastermind and killers but he is still gathering more evidences.

“Dakong politiko and hinungdan aning mga panghitabo dinhi,” the Mayor said, as he disclosed many of his supporters are now afraid but he assured them to let the law take its course and not retaliate with violence.

As his concluding statement Afdal implored the help of Gov. Aurora Cerilles on the said issue.

“Ako mohangyo ni madam Governor isip siya ang chairman sa Peace and Order Council nga tabangan kami nga taga Labangan kay nagpakamatay man mi kaniya kaniadtong miaging election,” Afdal ended.

As of press time the governor can not be reached for comment.