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Newsman takes witness stand in Dutch murder

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—A community paper reporter took the witness stand last week to corroborate details about the murder of a Dutch activist in Angeles City in Pampanga province four years ago.

Marvin Marzan, one of three principal suspects, has been standing trial since 2015 for murder of Wilhelmus Geertman.

Fred Villareal, a SunStar Pampanga correspondent at the time of the killing, told Judge Christine Marie Capule of the Regional Trial Court Branch 48 that he was 5 meters from where Geertman, 67, was killed on July 3, 2012, by two men inside the compound of Alay Bayan Inc. (ABI)-Luzon, a disaster response group. Geertman was ABI’s executive director.

Villareal said he was at the ABI office in the L&S Subdivision because his wife was employed as the group’s project officer.

“I rushed to the terrace [and] saw them… holding [Geertman] by the shoulders, as they pushed him down to a kneeling position on the pavement. One of the men shot him in the back,” he told the court.

Villareal was the seventh witness presented by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, the private prosecutors in the case. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon