(Attack happens week after Paquibato Massacre)
JUNE 22, 2015
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
DAVAO CITY- A week since the attack on IP-peasant leader Aida Seisa, another land rights activist and typhoon Pablo survivor was attacked, this time in Compostela Valley Province.
Unidentified military personnel from the 66th IB strafed the residence of Sabello “Tatay Bello” Tindasan, 60 years old, chairperson of Compostela Farmers Association (CFA), 2:30 PM of June 21 (yesterday).
The said military force had an encampment only 80 meters from Tindasan’s home and right across the street in Sitio Mambusao, Brgy. Ngan, Municipality of Compostela, Compostela Valley.
Tatay Bello was attending a meeting of CFA in a separate location that day.
Survivors of frustrated massacre were his wife Alice, 60; their grandchild Toto (not their real name), 3; their adopted son Gerry (not real name), 14; and his friends:Zed and Kokoy (not their real names) both 14 years old. Toto’s feet was wounded, as he stepped o the shards of jalousie windows broken by the bullets as they scampered away during the incident.
Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region’s secretary-general Hanimay Suazo condemned this latest incident, saying that it was another manifestation of the Oplan Bayanihan’s war against the civilian population.
Suazo said that the strafing is linked with the intensifying forms of protest by the CFA against the Agusan Petroleum and Minerals Corporation (AGPET), a large-scale mining company owned by the Cojuangcos, which had applied for mining permits for 12,444 hectares of land in Compostela, and community residents’ opposition to military encampments perpetrated by the 66th IBPA.
“Tindasan and other members of the CFA had just concluded the barricade protest they conducted against the incoming heavy equipment of AGPET. Truly, the attempts to life by military forces are directed against peasant leaders who are in staunch opposition to various land-grabbing ventures supported by the Aquino regime’s Oplan Bayanihan, as manifested in this incident.”
Suazo added that Tindasan had been a target of the 66th IB since early 2015.
“In a fact-finding mission held by Karapatan-SMR last March 20-21 this year, Tatay Bello reported that he was being followed by suspected military agents, even accused as a member of the New People’s Army. Some other CFA leaders were also vilified by the 66th IBPA.”
Suazo condemned the recent string of attacks against peasant leaders and human rights defenders in the region by military forces commanded by Palparan-trained generals, 10th ID’s Maj. Gen. Eduardo Año and EastMinCom’s Lt.Gen. Aurelio Baladad.
“A week ago, it was Aida Seisa from Paquibato. Now, it is Tatay Bello of Compostela. This is a cowardly act from the AFP, as hapless civilians become their easy targets. Worst of all, they easily cover-up their crimes by accusing victims as members or supporters of the NPAs,” Suazo conluded. ###