Saturday, January 23, 2010

We Salute You, Ka Rodrigo Frio!

23 January 2010. Mr. Rodrigo “Ka Rudy” Frio, President of Nagdamayang Lakeview Neighborhood Association Inc., died evening of Friday (15 January) after being shot by one of the guards of Twinstar Security and Investigation Agency hired by a private claimant of the lot presently occupied by the Association consisting of 70 families for more than 15 years.

Ka Rudy was shot through his body, while mindlessly feeding his chickens. This was witnessed by one Rene Clorado, Ka Rudy’s companion, who was then standing in front of him during the daring attack.

According to Rene, four (4) security guards of Twinstar Security and Investigation Agency led by OIC Bernardo Tamon, at a distance, suddenly shot Ka Rudy and immediately ran away after the shooting. He relates his friend’s death to the issue of ownership of the 1.4 hectares lot they presently occupied, "Two days before the killing the Officer in Charge (OIC) Bernardo Tamon of the Security Guards had a confrontation with Ka Rudy about the lot we occupied. Tamon threatened to shoot Ka Rudy and pointed his shotgun at him.”

The police officers arrested the Security guard OIC Bernardo Tamon, 49 and Artemio Demit, 52. However, SG Antonio Eygot and SG Edwin Cuambot were able to escape and are the subject of manhunt operation. Taytay Police is further investigating the incident.

“The attack was premeditated and our leader was helplessly killed. I remember on September 4, 2009, we had a meeting with the mayor and the claimants of land. The claimants asked the mayor if they could put guards in the lot and the mayor said yes. The one of the claimant added that if Frio will enter the lot can we ordered him shot. We see that the land issue is the strongest possible motive of his killing,” said Bella Dela Rosa, Chairman of the board of the same organization with Frio .

Previous to the shooting, OIC Tamon was already invited to the Taytay Police Station because of the complaint lodged by Ka Rudy for his continued threats. “If the police in Taytay Rizal had already detained OIC Tamon on that incident, our leader would still be alive today,” Dela Rosa added.

We will always remember Ka Rudy as one of the urban poor leader who really fought for the rights of the poor.

Butchoy Raynon, nephew of Ka Rudy said, “He is a great loss in our community because he is a father to everyone who stands for our right. He is a principled man and a man of word. A very kind and loving uncle and husband to his family.”
Task Force Anti-Eviction composed of various people’s organizations and NGOs such as Urban Poor Associates (UPA), Community Organizers Multiversity (COM), and Community Organization of the Philippine Enterprise (COPE) Foundation condemn the killing and urged the government to act with expediency to resolve this crime.

“This is not the first time that an urban poor leader was killed in protecting their shelter rights,” the group added.

Ka Rudy’s remains were brought today to Taytay Police Station as a show of protest for its continued failure to capture the other assailants and to ask for justice before it was laid to rest in Holy Cemetery Garden Manila East Memorial in his hometown Taytay, Rizal. He left behind his wife, Edna (56) and children Maria Rona (30), Rudeen (29), and Rodrigo Jr. (22).

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