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AFP surrenders soldier charged in union leader’s murder

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:36:00 05/27/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The military turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) an Army soldier wanted for the nearly three-year-old murder of a labor leader in the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac province, a spokesman for the Armed Forces said Tuesday.

Private First Class Roderick de la Cruz was brought to the NBI last May 21 after he was arrested by operatives of the Presidential Task Force Against Political Violence over the October 2005 killing of Ricardo Ramos, was then president of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU), said Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres Jr.

De la Cruz was killed during the tenure of Major General Jovito Palparan as commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Central Luzon, which includes Tarlac. Palparan was implicated in a number of extra-judicial killings and disappearances but was never charged in court.

Over the weekend, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lieutenant General Alexander Yano said he would turn over military men who are suspects in cases involving human rights violations.

“The military leadership has vowed early on to fully cooperate with the investigations of concerned agencies on issues of human rights violations and extrajudicial killings and assured that the Armed Forces will not attempt any coverup of any incident,” Torres said in a statement.

De Leon was assigned to the 24th Infantry Battalion, which is under the 7th Infantry Division.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-05-27T07:18:36+00:00UTC05bUTCTue, 27 May 2008 07:18:36 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

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