A doctor who was accused of supporting communists was shot dead with her husband in the village of Poblacion in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental yesterday afternoon.
Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and her husband Edwin Sancelan were on their way home at about 5:30pm when they were shot by the gunmen, who immediately fled from the scene of the crime. The Sancelans were brought to Guihulngan Hospital for treatment but they were pronounced dead on arrival.
Recovered from the crime scene were 15 bullets from a caliber .45 handgun.
Human rights organization Karapatan said that Dr. Mary Rose, who heads the city’s inter-agency task force against COVID-19, was number one on the “hit list” of Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (KAGUBAK), an anti-communist vigilante group allegedly behind the string of killings on Negros island.
Dr. Mary Rose was tagged by KAGUBAK as JB Regalado, allegedly the spokesperson of the communist rebels based on the island, Karapatan said.
“Together with her in the list are Atty. Anthony Trinidad and Heidie Malalay Flores who were killed in the past years,” the group added.
The death of the Sancelans follows the killing of Zara Alvarez, an activist and paralegal for Karapatan. She was shot dead in Bacolod City in August, two years after she was accused of being a communist sympathizer by an unknown group.
Human rights organization Amnesty International has urged the Duterte government to stop its widespread practice of red-tagging, saying last month that it was “vicious and at times, deadly.”
This article, Doctor accused of supporting communists shot dead with husband in Negros Oriental, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.