ROXAS CITY — Tapaz Mayor Roberto Palomar described slain Barangay Roosevelt Captain Julie Catamin as a “true public servant.”
Catamin was killed in Calinog, Iloilo on February 28.
Palomar condemned the killing, as he called it “cowardly.”
Police Lt. George Lenantud, deputy chief and public information officer of Calinog Police Station, said that Catamin was visiting relatives of a deceased family member when he was killed by two riding-in-tandem suspects.
The suspects remained unidentified, while the motive of the killing has yet to be established.
Palomar said that the Tapaz local government unit is offering a P300,000 cash award for those who can give relevant information that will lead to the immediate arrest of the suspects.
Panay Alliance Karapatan said that Catamin received a death threat days before she was killed.
“Antes ini natabo, ang mga residente sa nasambit nga barangay ang naghambal nga may pila katawo nga nagapakilala taga-CIDG nga nagapangita kay kapitana kag sang ulihi nagkadto gid sa ila nga balay,” the group said.
They added, “sang tinalikdan nga Pebrero 25, ginhambal ni kapitan nga ginpatawag sya ni certain Lt. Estrada sa military detachment in Haycon, Calinog kag ginhambalan nga ang iya mga residente ang nagapangayo sang bulig sa Bayan Muna kag taong simbahan nga ginagamit sang NPA.”
“Pebrero 27 liwat naman nga nagbalik ang mga lalaki nga nagapangita sa iya kag pinakaulihi ang kaina sang aga Pebrero 28 antes sya ginbanggaan kag ginluthang.”
“Si kapitan ang isa man sa mga nagbuyayag sa ginhimo nga pagplanted sg mga katapo sg CIDG, pulis kag militar sa iya pila ka residente nga nagapatigayon sg pagserbe sang search warrant sadtong December 30,” the group added.
On December 30, policemen simultaneously served 28 search warrants in the villages of Tapaz, Capiz province and Calinog, Iloilo province.
During the operations, nine died, including barangay officials, and 10 were arrested in Tapaz, while seven suspects were nabbed in Calinog, Iloilo province.
The fatalities and those who were arrested were said to be leaders and members of the IP belonging to the Panay Tumandok, but the police maintained that the operations were due to the reports that the said personalities were armed.
The Army’s 301st Infantry Brigade said it strongly condemned the killing of Catamin, who was “one of our peace advocates in Tapaz.”
Under Catamin’s leadership, Barangay Roosevelt declared the CPP-NPA as persona non-grata in September 2020.
“Ang traidor na pagpaslang sa kanya ay magsisilbing motivation upang lalong pang paigtingin ang laban upang tapusin ang mga komunistang terorista,” Brigadier Gen Marion Sison, commander of 301st IB, said.
Flosemer Chris Gonzales, spokesperson of Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict for Region 6, said the village chief was “a victim of a terroristic act.”
“We denounce any and all forms of violence against unarmed civilians especially against those who advocate for peace. We denounce the killing of Julie Catamin whose only dream for the people of Tapaz is to have genuine and lasting peace in their communities,” he said.*