Lawmaker says killings of Davao farmers part of counter-insurgency

Oct. 03, 2017

According to human rights group Karapatan, there are at least 50 victims of political killings in Southern Mindanao region since Duterte came into power in July 2016. (Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A solon from the Makabayan bloc denounced on Monday, October 2, the recent killings of two farmers in Davao region, saying these were a part of the government’s counter-insurgency program.

Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao said in a press statement the “spate of killings” was due to the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Kapayapaan.

“The killings of agricultural workers in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental are shattering proof of the fascist attacks by the Duterte regime,” Casilao.

He was referring to cases of 50-year old Rene Magayano, chairperson of the Maragusan Workers’ Association, who was killed on Thursday, September 28, and farmer-activist, 40-year old Toto Lompaodan, member of Alyansa sa mga Mag-uuma sa Sidlakang Davao (Almasid) who was killed on September 26.

Casilao said the suspect of Lompaodan’s murder is a member of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the AFP.

Lompaodan was killed while processing to claim his financial assistance through the conditional cash program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Casilao said.

He branded the government’s crackdown as an “all-out war” against farmers and activists, noting that it has coincided with the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs and war against the Moro people.

At least 90 victims of extra-judicial killings under the present administration were from the peasant sector, Casilao said.

“President Duterte is simply a copy-cat of past regimes, tweaking past failed counter-insurgency programs, attacking activists and sponsoring human rights violations in the country.

“It is no suprise that his rule is now under strong criticisms from the international community,” Casilao added. (

comments powered by Disqus