May 18, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sarah Katrina Maramag, Media Officer, 09193486790
Maritess Lopez, Bicol Coordinator, 09103199044
Kabataan poll watchers abducted and slain by military in Camarines Norte
Kabataan Party-list strongly condemns the abduction and murder of two of its poll watchers in Capalonga, Camarines Norte.
Jun Bagasbas, 20 years old, of Ulipanan Jose Panganiban; and Ronilo Vallevare, 16 years old, of Brgy. Old Camp Capalonga, both Kabataan organizers and poll watchers, were abducted by suspected soldiers on May 15.
The two were on their way home after delivering food to Kabataan Party-list volunteers when they were abducted by uniformed men near the Brgy. Old Camp Capalong polling place.
They next day, May 16, they were found dead along the boundaries of Brgys. Mataqui and Catabaguangan, Capalonga, Camarines Norte.
On the same day, the military issued a statement that Bagasbas and Vallevare were civilian casualties of an encounter between the New People's Army and the AFP on May 15.
"This is a very sad period for all vigilant youth and citizens. First the heroic deaths of two teachers in Batangas and now the senseless killing of two youths who have vowed to protect the votes of the youth and people," said Raymond Palatino, national president and nominee.
"We condemn the brutal murders of Jun and Ronilo. This extra-judicial killing is undoubtedly election and political-related. We hold the government accountable for failing to address the climate of impunity that has permeated this election period at the onset. We will not rest until justice is served."
Kabataan Party-list called on the Comelec to immediately conduct an investigation on the killings.
Kabataan Party-list is set to hold an indignation rally in front of Comelec at 4pm today. ###