Anti-mining woman activist dies three days after shooting; Karapatan condemns rise of killings

CRITICAL CONDITION Teresita Navacilla, anti open-pit mining activist, in the hospital ICU hours after surviving an assassination attempt. Mining companies NADECOR and St. Augustine Mining Company are set to operate in the Pantukan area, affecting residents like Navacilla (Photo by Hanimay Suazo)
CRITICAL CONDITION Teresita Navacilla, anti open-pit mining activist, in the hospital ICU hours after surviving an assassination attempt. Mining companies NADECOR and St. Augustine Mining Company are set to operate in the Pantukan area, affecting residents like Navacilla (Photo by Hanimay Suazo)

 

TAGUM CITY- Teresita Navacilla, anti-foreign large-scale mining activist, breathed her last in the early hours of January 30, after surviving the attack on her life last January 27.

Navacilla had returned that day from jail after visiting Giovanni Guitierez, a small-scale miner and her neighbor who was illegally arrested and branded as NPA by elements of the 46th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.

By evening, a suspected military agent went to Navacilla’s store and fired two shots to her direction, which caught her in the nape and the back of her head. She was rushed to the hospital, after her attacker and his accomplices sped away in XRM motorcycles.

Navacilla was the purok chairman of Purok Bardown in Sitio Gumayan, Brgy. Kingking, Pantukan Compostela Valley.

The said area is set to be affected by the entry of largescale mining company Nationwide Development Corporation (NADECOR)-San Augustin Services, Inc. in Pantukan, reported to start its full operation on open-pit mining on March this year.

Karapatan-Southern Mindanao secretary-general Hanimay Suazo denounced the incident, saying that “the only persons set to benefit from Navacilla’s demise are the mining corporations deadly eager to plunder mineral wealth and displace entire civilian communities, along with the military units paid by these corporations to bulldoze the people’s resistance to these corporate landgrabbing”.

Suazo fears that the killings “may rise to become a weekly statistics, given the nearing end of Aquino’s term.”

“Corporations are desperate to pave the road for their unopposed operations, and the military feels the same, in their bid to neutralize people’s organizations that are condemning their unjust operations against civilian communities.” Suazo said.

According to Suazo, there have been four victims of extra-judicial killings in Southern Mindanao in the month of January alone, and 54 so far under the Aquino regime.

Navacilla was a strong critic of the planned large-scale mining in the area of the growing militarization in Pantukan, which was deployed with two battalions previously under the command of notorious human rights violator Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan.

The 71st IBPA was among the three battalions forming the 701st Infantry Brigade, which was deployed in Southern Mindanao in 2010.

The 71st IB’s efforts were augmented by the 46th IB, which was deployed in 2014. Both units have complemented efforts to quell people’s movements in Pantukan, as mining companies set their sights in the rich mineral reserves in the said municipality.

PRESS RELEASE

KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION

CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO

0932-198-6728

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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

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Peasant Leader and Lumad Student Latest EJK’s of 2016

TINGKAS EJK MOB

DAVAO CITY- A human rights group slammed the killings of a peasant leader in Mati City and a 15-year old lumad student from Talaingod, Davao del Norte, the first cases of extrajudicial killings in Davao region this year.

Ricky Penaranda, chairman of Fisherman Landless Association and member of Indug Kautawan, was gunned down in Dona Rosa, Brgy. Central, Mati City on January 11.

Penaranda had just came from settling a case of a farmer illegally arrested in a land dispute. He was riding a motorcycle when two men riding in tandem shot him at the back. A witness said the gunmen, with their faces covered with caps and handkerchiefs, shouted at him: “Isog jud ka ha! Makiglantugi jud ka!” (“You’re brave eh! You really want to fight!”).

Meanwhile, Alindang Tingkas, a student of the Salugpongan Community Learning Center in Sitio Laslasakan, Talaingod, Davao del Norte, was gunned down by members of the paramilitary Alamara last January 16.

Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Secretary-General Hanimay Suazo condemned these first cases of extra-judicial killings in Southern Mindanao.  “We condemn in the highest terms these two killings, as they once again reflect the poor status of human rights in the country,” Suazo said.

Suazo said that the primary motive on the killing of Penaranda was clearly due to his involvement in the helping peasants in their land struggle.

She also criticized the Aquino government for its lack of instituting reforms and protection of the welfare of peasants and other marginalized groups such as the indigenous peoples.

“Apart from the lack of will to protect poor peasants, the Aquino regime is also rife with impunity for extra-judicial killings, particularly against those who stand up for the rights of the oppressed,” she said.

She also condemned the killing of Tingkas by the Alamara, which she said is backed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines for pushing its Oplan Bayanihan campaign.

“The continuing support of the AFP to the Alamara grants it impunity and seemingly endless opportunities to terrorize the people. Truly, the AFP’s “Whole of the Nation Initiative” targets civilians and not combatants, as shown in the death of Tingkas. Tingkas’ aspirations for education ran in contrast to the AFP’s interests, who wish that lumad communities would remain uneducated so as to easily allow the entry of mining corporations in lumad ancestral lands.”

Karapatan also blamed Alamara for the killing of a Talaingod Lumad leader, Datu Manlero Landahay last year.

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PRESS RELEASE

KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION

CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO

0932-198-6728