Bloody week as three killed in Davao region

53RD IN AQUINO'S REGIME Christopher Matibay, a peasant leader who was part of last year's Manilakbayan ng Mindanao, was laid to rest by his family and friends as they shouted for justice for his death. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)
53RD IN AQUINO’S REGIME Christopher Matibay, a peasant leader who was part of last year’s Manilakbayan ng Mindanao, was laid to rest by his family and friends as they shouted for justice for his death. (Photo by Kilab Multimedia)

DAVAO CITY — The human rights group Karapatan Southern Mindanao condemned the killing of a lumad farmer leader in Davao Oriental last week, bringing the count of extrajudicial killings in Davao Region to three in January in just a week’s time.

The latest victim is Christopher  Matibay, 43 years old and leader of the Typhoon Pablo survivors group Barug Katawhan in the municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental, who was shot dead last January 18.

Matibay was one of the leaders from Davao Oriental who joined last year’s Manilakbayan ng Mindanao to raise support to Typhoon Pablo survivors neglected by government.

Matibay’s wife recounted the incident took place around 4 pm at Brgy. Lambajon when she was with her husband waiting at a waiting shed when they spotted a motorcycle riding person stopping few meters away from them.

Her husband warned her that the driver was an intelligence officer with alias “Mike” who was tailing him in the past, and   told her to go ahead of him.

After taking a few steps, she heard gunshots and saw the “Mike” driving away and her husband already sprawled on the ground, dead with three gunshot wounds in the body.

Karapatan-SMR secretary-general Hanimay Suazo condemned Matibay’s killings, which is the third extrajudicial killing for the month of January in a span of one week.

“With three deaths in a week, this shows that the Aquino regime is hell-bent to attack leaders of progressive groups with legitimate cries against his government’s ineptness,” Suazo said.

Another peasant leader, Ricky Peñaranda from Mati City, was shot dead last January 11. A 15-year old lumad student, Alibando Tingkas from Talaingod was killed by suspected paramilitary Alamara members last January 17.

“From Ricky Peñaranda to Alibando Tingkas and now Christopher Matibay, the killings proliferate. This is happening because of the Aquino regime’s nod to the silencing of people’s leaders, as highlighted in its “Whole of the Nation Initiative” in the counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan,” Suazo added.

Matibay’s participation in the protest caravan played a part in his slay, Suazo said.

“We demand justice for Christopher Matibay, and also to those who went before him for asserting the rights and welfare of Tyhoon Pablo survivors, whom the government had neglected and unjustly demonized as NPA supporters when they decried the lack of support for their plight,” said Suazo.

Matibay is the third member of Barug Katawhan to be gunned down in Baganga, the first being Cristina Jose in 2013, followed by Felix Basig last year.

 

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PRESS RELEASE

KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION

CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO

0932-198-6728

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Lumad Community Leader Killed in Davao Oriental

45th KILL Ricky Basig (in orange pants) recounts the abuses of the 67th IB. (Photo and caption by Lam Banuag)
45TH KILL Felix Basig (in orange pants) recounts the abuses of the 67th IB. (Photo and caption by Lam Banuag)

JUNE 27, 2015
PRESS RELEASE
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
0932-198-6728

ERRATUM: The previous version of this alert named the victim as “Ricky Basig”. We apologize for the mistake.

 

DAVAO CITY- The 45th victim of extrajudicial-killings in Southern Mindanao region under the Aquino administration was tallied yesterday, as a Typhoon Pablo survivor was shot down by military forces.

Felix Basig, of Mandaya tribe of Sitio Kaputian, Brgy. Mahan-ub, Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental Province, was sitting in his veranda 6 PM of June 25, 2015, when elements from the 67th Infantry Battalion led by a certain “PFC. Maca” fired several shots that killed Basig.

Felix was a member of Barug Katawhan (People Rise), an organization of Typhoon Pablo survivors who are active in demanding for the complete post-catastrophe aid from the government.

Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region, said that Basig was interviewed by human rights groups in a humanitarian peace mission conducted last May 29-June 1 this year in Sitio Kasunugan, Brgy. Mahan-ub in Bagangga.

“Basig reported three series of incidents where he was vilified by the military. He was accused as a member of the New People’s Army”. Suazo added that Basig was accused by the army soldiers of 67th IB as the one who notified the New People’s Army (NPA) about the miltary’s combat operations in the area, which led to an ambush by the NPA last May 22 .

The encounter led to two casualties on the side of 67th IB.

“Basig was repeatedly warned by elements of the 67th IB to watch out, because if they were to be ambushed one more time, he (Basig) would be hurt, as form of retaliation,” Suazo said.

In the fact-finding report drafted after the mission by Karapatan-SMR, it was shown that the presence of military forces within the communities proved to add difficulties to the residents.

The mission team documented cases of hamletting, different forms of harassments, coercion, vilification, military encampments and attacks on IP-community schools.

The military ruled the area, and community residents were afraid to assert their rights.

The residents, Suazo said, were still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Pablo, but were further burdened by the social calamity brought about by the terror acts of the 67th IB.

Suazo condemned the killing of Basig, along with the recent string of attacks against IP’s and peasants especially those who are actively defending the human rights.

“From Paquibato to Compostela, and now in Davao Oriental, the deadly flight of Año’s 10th ID ‘Agila’ casts the shadow of death, preying over the weak and proving to be a pestilence to peasants and lumads, who are striving for their basic rights, welfare, and genuine peace and development. “ she said.

Suazo reiterated the demand to pull-out the military troops in communities and schools following massive human rights abuses brought by heavy military operations.

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URGENT ALERT: Typhoon Pablo survivor and community leader killed by elements of 67th IBPA at around 6pm on June 25, 2015 in Sitio Kaputian, Brgy. Mahan-ub, Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental

 

Ricky Basig, in a dialogue with barangay officials, on the atrocities of the military.(Photo and caption by Lam Banuag)
Felix Basig, in a dialogue with barangay officials, on the atrocities of the military.(Photo and caption by Lam Banuag)

ERRATUM: The previous version of this alert named the victim as “Ricky Basig”. We apologize for the mistake.

 

Felix Basig, a member of Barug Katawhan (People Rise), an organization of Typhoon Pablo survivors in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, was shot by elements of the 67th IB led by a certain PFC. Maca that caused his untimely death. PFC. Maca is the team leader of the Peace and Development Operation Program (PDOP) team in Sitio Kaputian, where Basig resides.

According to initial accounts, Basig was shot at around 6 PM of June 25, while sitting in the veranda of his home.

Basig had been active in initiatives for rebuilding in Sitio Kaputian after Typhoon Pablo struck the area. He took part in projects to build water lines for drinking and formation of farming cooperatives for food production.

Months before, a certain “Gatchalian” from the 67th IB summoned Basig, and vilified him as a member of the NPA.

Less than a month ago, a fact-finding mission initiated by Exodus for Justice and Peace participated by Karapatan-SMR documented human rights violations by the military against the civilian population. Basig reported three instances where he had been harassed by the 67th IB, and was also asked to serve as guide for the said military unit.

Basig participated in the dialogue with barangay officials after the mission, to report the atrocities of the military in their area. He was also the purok leader of Sitio Kaputian and a lumad from the Mandaya tribe.

 

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