Slain urban poor leader, a servant of the poor, loving husband and grandpa
“Thank you for opening your home to us. Thank you for laughing with us. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for showing us what it means when we say that a ‘true revolutionary is guided by feelings of love.” – LFS San Francisco
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
CATMON, Malabon – While Bulatlat.com was interviewing Divina Gulfo, wife of slain urban poor leader Ernesto Gulfo, their three-year-old grandson AJ sat beside his grandmother.
“Grandpa’s gone. I miss grandpa,” AJ said. He then stood up to point to a small dent on the wood, which was hit by one of the two bullets that claimed his grandfather’s life. “Here,” AJ added.
Gulfo, an urban poor leader in Barangay Catmon in Malabon, was killed on May 30, 2012, while having breakfast in front of their junk shop, their family business. At around 7:10 a.m., a man came into their junk shop and asked for the price of copper scraps. But before he could answer, the man drew a .45 caliber gun and shot Gulfo three times. Two bullets pierced his chest. The suspect then casually left the crime scene with another man, who reportedly served as his lookout, Divina, 52, his wife, told Bulatlat.com.
Gulfo was pronounced dead on arrival in Manila Central University Hospital. He was only 52 years old.
“I was supposed to get more rice for him. When I was about to return, a man entered the junk shop and asked, ‘Buddy, how much for the copper?’ Then the man drew a gun and shot him. Two hit his chest and the other hit his plate,” Divina said.
“I could not scream. I was so shocked I could not move. I did not even have the strength to be hysterical. I kept on asking myself if what I just saw was true,” she added.
Gulfo was a known urban poor leader in Barangay Catmon, Malabon. Residents describe him as the “most vocal local leader” against the impending demolition of homes of at least 1,500 families, reportedly to give way to the city government’s housing project under the Community Mortgage Program (CMP). Residents, who are mostly contractual workers and garbage collectors, said their meager income would not be able to pay the monthly amortization of the government housing program.
But currently on top of the CMP, Divina said, is the road widening project that would result in the demolition of at least 37 homes, including the junk shop.
“Who else would have him killed but those who claim this land? I do not like to point fingers but I am sure that it is related to our struggle for land,” Divina said.
Hardworking provider, loving grandpa
“He was hardworking. He used to study automotive mechanics during the day and worked as a garbage collector at night. He did not want to rest,” Divina said, recalling the days when he handled two jobs in order to provide for their family. “He also worked as mechanic for Rabbit (a bus company) during daytime but still worked for the MMC at night.”.... MORE