DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A Lumad woman leader is the 14th victim of extrajudicial killings against indigenous peoples defender in the province of Bukidnon.
The Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization reported that Bai Leah Tumbalang, 45, a Tigwahanon leader from San Fernando town of Bukidnon, was gunned down last Friday, Aug. 23 in Valencia City by riding in tandem gunmen suspected to be military agents.
According to the report, a witness claimed that two men riding a motorcycle was seen tailing the victim before she was shot in her forehead, causing her immediate death.
Kalumbay identified Tumbalang, mother of seven, as an active member of Kaugalingong Sistema Igpapasindog Tu Lumadnong Ogpaan (KASILO), a local Lumad and peasant organization in Bukidnon. She is also an organizer of Bayan Muna.
Tumbalang was reported to have received a death threats prior to her death.
Since 2011, Tumbalang and other KASILO members have been receiving threats to their lives as they lead the opposition against the deployment of paramilitary groups believed to be backed by mining interest in their communities.
Former KASILO secretary general Jimmy Liguyon was shot to death in that year by suspected paramilitary members after defending the ancestral domain from an expansion of a plantation project.
Kalumbay condemned the death of Tumbalang, whom they said is the 14th victim of summary killings of rights advocates in the province this year alone.
On August 12, Jeffrey Bayot, a KASILO member was also gunned down by motorcycle-riding men.
Four days before Bayot’s death, similar shooting incident also happened on August 9, killing another member of the group, Alex Lacay. (davaotoday.com)