Jay Apiag, spokesperson of Karapatan in Southern Mindanao, identified the victim as Danilo Nadal, a farmer in Compostela Valley province.
Apiag told Davao Today that Nadal was shot dead by suspected agents of the Army’s 46th Infantry Battalion while boarding his motorcycle in Barangay Tibagun, Pantukan town, Compostela Valley at 11:30 a.m on April 2.
Nadal, 37, was a member of Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Pantukan (HUMAPAN), a local farmer’s group in the said town. Citing the accounts from the victim’s family, Apiag said Nadal sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
The group condemned Nadal’s death, which they blamed on the military.
“We condemn in strongest possible term the AFP for killing another farmer, Danilo Nadal—a staunch peasant rights activist who was recently gunned down while boarding his single motorcycle,” the group said.
Nadal is the 20th case of political killings in the region under the nine-month old Duterte administration.
The group said that Nadal was “active in several peasant struggles and very vocal against human rights violations that resulted from intensified military combat operations in the countryside.”
The military has yet to comment on the allegations raised by Karapatan.
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines expressed alarm on the series of extrajudicial killings of farmers and peasant activists it said are “actively engaged in agrarian struggles.”
The NDFP and the Philippine government are engaging in the fourth round of talks when Nadal.
“This latest incident of agrarian-related killing happened days after farmers called the government’s attention on the successive killings of peasant leaders and farmers which escalated after the termination of the unilateral ceasefire agreements and as a direct result of Armed Forces of the Philippines’ all-out war declaration against the CPP-NPA that also indiscriminately targets and harms civilians,” the NDFP’s Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms said in a statement on Monday, Apr. 3.
It said it will raise as “urgent matters of concern” to their counterparts in the government the violations of human rights as effects of military operations during the formal talks.(davaotoday.com)