DAVAO CITY, Philippines – An unidentified gunman shot dead another farmer activist just right outside his residence in San Fernando town, Bukidnon province around 8pm on Monday, September 16.
In an alert issued on Tuesday, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)-Northern Mindanao identified the victim as Angelito Marivao, 49, and a resident of Sitio Lagdik, Purok 3, Barangay Mabuhay.
Marivao was a member of KASAMA-Bukidnon, the provincial chapter of KMP, and known to be active in opposing the entry of mining companies to the Pantaron Range in the area.
According to the KMP alert, Marivao was shot in the head, causing his immediate death.
The peasant group also expressed belief the motorcycle-riding gunman responsible for the killing of Marivao is a member of the Philippine Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion.
Four days ago, 63-year old Leonides Bacong, also a member of KASAMA-Bukidnon was gunned down by two unidentified suspects who entered the victim’s house at night.
KMP said a total of 16 human rights defenders and peasant leaders were already killed in Bukidnon province this year.
The group noted that attacks against rights advocates and activists in the region have “drastically increased” after President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao in 2017, which was extended until the end of this year.
The 88th IB is yet to issue a statement regarding the incident.
Meanwhile, the Bukidnon police provincial office said the incident is under investigation, with authorities still identifying the suspect.
In a radio interview, Datu Wilboy Lay-um, the spokesperson of the Movement Against Tyranny-Bukidnon expressed alarm on the spate of killings against activists in the province.
Lay-um also called on the government to take action to stop the attacks, such as the resumption of the peace process between the GRP(Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the NDFP(National Democratic Front of the Philippines).
The peace negotiations between the GRP and NDFP collapsed in 2017. (davaotoday.com)