MANILA, Philippines – The Dutch missionary and environmentalist who was gunned down on Tuesday had received death threats, according to his girlfriend Ma. Aurora Santiago.
Santiago said she had been warned by the 67-year-old Wilhelm Geertman to stay in a safe place because Geertman had received death threats from an anonymous sender.
Geertman, executive director of non-government organization Alay Bayan Inc., was shot dead by two armed men in his office in Angeles City, Pampanga.
A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera was able to capture the escape of the two suspects, which may help authorities in determining their identities.
Police is looking into robbery as a motive in the killing, based on gathered accounts of witnesses.
The suspects reportedly took Geertman’s bag containing P1 million.
The Department of Interior and Local Government has formed a task force, under the supervision of Sr. Supt. Edgardo Tinio and special investigation task group head Supt. Angelo Esteban, to investigate the killing.
Alay Bayan has also formed a fact-finding commission to probe the incident.
The Dutch missionary, who was also a known anti-mining advocate, was involved in assisting farm workers in Hacienda Luisita as executive director of Alay Bayan, which is an affiliate of the Alyansang Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL).
AMGL is the mother unit of the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid ng Asyenda Luisita (Ambala).
Malacañang on Wednesday said it “doesn’t appear” that the incident had something to do with Hacienda Luisita.
Police are waiting for the results of the ballistic and autopsy test. -- Report from Jayvie Dizon, ABS-CBN News Pampanga