By Davao Today
DAVAO CITY – Unidentified gunmen shot dead an officer of a Typhoon Pablo survivors group, known for its strong human rights and environmental advocacy.
The human rights group, Karapatan, identified the slain human rights advocate as Marcelo Monterona, a 41-year old resident of Barangay Elizalde, Maco, Compostela Valley.
Monterona was a member of the Council of Leaders of Indug Kautawan (People Uprise), a typhoon Pablo survivors group.
Hanimay Suazo, spokesperson of Karapatan chapter in Southern Mindanao, said the victim died of gunshot wounds. He was then repairing his multicab jeepney outside his house when, at 12 noon today, unidentified gunmen in motorcycle pumped bullets into him.
A police report was not immediately obtained from the area.
“He was known to be an active environment and human rights defender in the community, but now he is the one who’s being attacked,” Suazo said
Suazo added that “he also shouted for justice to the death of his neighbor, Pedro Tinga, who was killed last December 2013”
A report from Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chapter in Southern Mindanao said that Monterona’s wife believed that the Army battalion in the area “has something to do with the killing”.
Suazo also said that Monterona has received threats from elements of the Army’s 71st Infantry Battalion “for being active [in human rights work]”. She said Monterona was one of the Indug Kauwatan that demanded and won from the Apex Mining Co. reparation money to rehabilitate the damages caused by its operation in Maco.
Monterona was also in the frontline to demand justice from the 71st IB for the killing of Tinga and the pullout of the battalion.
According to Karapatan, Monterola is the 27th victim of the extra-judicial killings in southern Mindanao under the Aquino administration and the first victim this 2014. (davaotoday.com)extra judicial killings, human rights Philippines, Mindanao