TINOC, Ifugao — In a community petition and barangay resolution, the villagers of Barangay Tulludan of this town denounced the death threat and false accusations made against their barangay council member, Nonoy Bungtiwen and pleaded for immediate action from the municipal government and other stakeholders to root out the source of the threats.
Bungtiwen is one of the leaders of the Ifugao Peasant Movement (IPM) and a staunch opposition against the Quadriver hydroelectric power project in this town. In an interview, he said that he was alarmed when they saw a post in Facebook accusing him and four others of burning a backhoe and tagging him as a member of the New Peoples Army (NPA). Worse, he along with other leaders of IPM received a photo of a burial blanket which they call “gamong.” It carried a caption that says, “Gray May, June Gloom, No-Sky July.” The photo he said is a death threat.
In the community petition, the villagers of Tulludan mentioned that they are alarmed for the security of their leader. They condemned the posting of Bungtiwen’s photo in social media with grave and false accusations. They stated that the act is a violation against Bungtiwen’s human rights.
“…The designed propaganda violates the mental integrity, liberty, and security of a respected and duly elected barangay councilman,” the petition reads.
Moreover, the barangay resolution no. 5 series of 2015, the council pleads for help from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), non-government organizations, local government officials, and religious organizations for support and prompt action for the security of Bungtiwen.
Further, Bungtiwen mentioned that because of the death threat, and the vilification through the social media, he does not feel free to roam around anymore. His family up to this day fears for his security. “No adda barbaro nga rupa ken motor ditoy ket tumaray dagidiay kakabsat ko,” (Whenever there are new people and motorbikes in the village, his siblings would run to hide) he said.
Bungtiwen added that he abandoned his garden because he does not feel safe outside the village. He even narrated that when he received an envelope containing a burial blanket, he cannot sleep well even in his own home as he also fears for the security of his family.
“Ti laeng met ar-aramidek ket itakderak ti kakailyak ta saan mi talaga a kayat dayta project ti Quadriver. Apay a no protektaram ti kailyam ket kastoy ti mapasamak?” (I am only standing for my constituents who are opposing the project of Quadriver. Why is it that when you defend your people, your life is threatened?) he lamented.