Almost 90 farmers, activists killed under Duterte


Hundreds of national minorities, Moro and Lumad marched to Mendiola today to demand justice for the killing of Obillo Bay-ao, a 19 year-old Lumad farmer killed by suspected military elements last September 5. “We cannot allow this reign of impunity to continue. We demand justice and an end to the killing spree. Almost 90 farmers were killed under the Duterte regime. Thousands more were killed in the war against drugs.”

“Duterte has no regard and respect for human rights. He allowed state forces to turn the country into a killing field. As the government vows to intensify its triple war against the people – Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan, Martial Law in Mindanao and the all-out war in Marawi, we see no end to the state-sponsored killings and atrocities,” said Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP.


Guinhulngan killing fields

In Guinhulngan, Negros Oriental, eight farmers and activists were killed from July to September this year. The successive killings of civilians is seen as military retaliation to the NPA ambush on Guinhulngan PNP last July 21, 2017. According to witnesses, the series of killings have the same pattern — with masked riding-in-tandem as perpetrators.

The victims of extra-judicial killings in Guinhulngan from July 23 to September were identified as: Glenn Absin, July 23, 2017 Poblacion, Guihulngan; Alberto ‘Leboy” Tecson, July 24, 2017 Danilo Salazar, July 28, 2017; Rene Faburada, August 4, 2017;  Leodegario Benero Jr., August 17, 2017; Marlyn Vidal, August 26, 2017; Oscar Asildo Jr., August 30, 2017.

Peasant leader Luardo Yac, 59, of Kaugmaon-KMP who survived the Sept. 1, 2017 frustrated killing against him was shot dead last Sept. 7 while he was on the way home from a hospital in Dumaguete.

Tecson was the vice-chairperson of Pamalakaya- Guihulngan. Asildo Jr.  was a Bayan Muna organizer and a local employee of Department of Education Division Office in Guihulngan.

Habal-habal driver Rolan Pacunla who was shot last August 26, 2017 survived the attack against him. Also under threat are Marilou Alangilan and Cenona Estrada, leaders of Kaugmaon-KMP; health worker Josephine Saguran; PISTON members Harry Cantilla and Florante Burdado and Lorna Tecson, widow of Alberto Tecson. Other members of progressive people’s organizations and their families are also being threatened.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas chapters in Negros and Cebu, the National Federation of Sugar Workers and local church-based organizations has organized a Fact-Finding Mission to uncover the truth and demand justice on the killings in Guinhulngan.


Mindanao deaths 

In Southern Mindanao region alone, 47 were killed, majority of the victims were farmers and indigenous peoples. Compostela Valley province was dubbed as ‘valley of death’ with the rising number of farmers killed under this administration. Obillo Bay-ao was the latest victim

Roger Timboco, 32, Mansaka, was shot dead by suspected agents of 71st IBPA while waiting for passengers at a habal-habal terminal in Mawab, Compostela Valley, last August 23, 2017. Timboco was an active member of peasant group Kahugpungan sa mga Maguuma sa Maco ComVal (KAMMAO). He was also an active supporter of Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, a staunch peasant rights’ activist and human rights defender.

Last Sept. 2, peasant couple Jezreel Arrabis, 40, and wife Dalia Arrabis, 38, residents of Purok 6, Barangay Tamayong Calinan District, Davao City were shot dead by suspected agents of combined units of 84th and 3rd Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA) in front of their house.

Early this month, farmers and indigenous peoples from interior villages in Davao del Norte were forced to evacuate after heightened military operations and indiscriminate aerial bombings.

“The 271-billion combined budget of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police will be used as Duterte’s war budget. Our own taxes will be used to kill Filipinos,” said Ramos.

The peasant group said “the constant goading and support of the United States government to Duterte’s wars intensifies Oplan Kapayapaan and human rights violations in the Philippines,” Ramos said.

Tomorrow, farmers and national minorities joining the Sandugo Lakbayan 2017 groups will troop to the U.S. Embassy to demand an end to the U.S. war of terror in Marawi and Duterte’s Martial Law in Mindanao. ###


Reference: Danilo Ramos, 09974182478, 0922-7605706