President Benigno Aquino III yesterday ordered the Philippine National Police to probe the killing of 67-year-old Dutch aid worker William Geertman, 67, in front of his office in Pampanga by two unidentified gunmen Tuesday.
Geertman, who was executive director of the Alay Bayan-Luzon, had been staying in the Philippines for 46 years as lay missionary and was involved in causes such as farmers’ and indigenous people’s rights.
He reportedly was gunned down shortly after he had withdrawn money from a bank.
Angeles Chief of Police Lusita Magnaye tagged it was robbery with homicide.
Geertman’s killing immediately drew flak from Catholic and other Christian organizations. The most strident denunciation of the killing was from the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, the alliance of non-Catholic organizations in the country.
It said the death of Geertman should not be dismissed as an act of robbery as with the conclusion in the assassination of Most. Rev. Alberto Ramentor in Tarlac.
Archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz said what makes it more depressing is that the one murdered was foreigner whose purpose was mainly to help the poor and the small Filipino.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo also said the same that Geertman was here to help us with our advocacy especially with the farmers of Hacienda Luisita. Pabillo is with the national secretariat of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
A journalist of the NUJP told his fellow media workers that he peeked out of the window when he heard the gunshot and saw Geertman kneeling down when he was shot on the head by one of two gunmen.
When he went out to get the number of their Mitsubishi Lancer vehicle, the gunmen reportedly leveled his gun at the journalist.
Immediately, the finger of suspicion tagged the military as behind the Geertman assassination.
PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Generoso Cerbo said the PNP had already formed a special Investigation Task Group (SITG) which included the CIDG and the intelligence group to make the probe systematic.
What is strange, though, is that local citizens claimed that a closed circuit TV installed as a monitor for the area, managed to get footages of the killing and the vehicle used as getaway car as well as the assailants.
But, Roman Polintan, chairman of Bayan Muna in Central Luzon, said the tape had not been returned yesterday evening.
Men, who called to be police investigators, reportedly borrowed the tape soon after the shooting and said they would return it immediately the same evening.
Chief Magnaye, however, said he would like to see the tape as it would help in the investigation.
So, what happened to the tape of the CCTV?
You still will have to bear with Senator Miriam Santiago. If you are one of her critics, Santiago said that she has not assumed her post yet as a member of the International Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
In effect, as Santiago pointed out, the Comelec should only list 12 vacancies for Senator in the 2013 elections.
In short, until she is called by the ICC, Santiago will just remain with the Philippine Senate.
Facebook often serves as a rapid way of informing kins about what is happening to a relative abroad or elsewhere in the country.
But in the case of Maynardo Valdez, manager of the Philippine Information Agency in Nueva Ecija, a Facebook picture of him in Boracay when he was supposed to be in office, led to his dismissal from the service.
Valdez reportedly closed his office for four days in December last year without permission.
Later, when his superiors tried to contact him through Facebook, they saw instead pictures of him in a reunion on Boracay Island in Aklan.
Well, it just proves the point that Facebook can report on one’s activities abroad but it can also pin down one who is malingering or making an excuse for absenting oneself from official duties.
In short, it can also be a trap.
I don’t know until when political talk shows will continue to harp on the impending rift of the UNA despite the repeated attempts by the major personalities to demolish such talk.
But, as usual, the talk must go on until the UNA finally agrees on whom to field as its gubernatorial bet for the 2013 elections.
Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez and Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. had repeatedly appeared on TV and in talk shows to assert their unity. The last was the other day with Rep. Albee Benitez (3rd District).
“If there is a rift, would we be together? What you have seen today is the opposite of the rumors,” Marañon observed.
But then such denials will always be taken with a grain of salt by political commentators. Every bit of rumor or speculation becomes news for them.
Well, let’s just wait and see what happens next.*
back to top