DAVAO CITY – The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas is calling on the Department of Justice and the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an investigation on the killing of a local leader in Arakan town in North Cotabato.
Joel Gulmatico, chairperson of the Arakan Progressive Peasant Organization (APPO) was killed on his way home in Barangay Naje, Arakan town on August 18.
KMP regional chairperson Pedro Arnado said they relate the killing of Gulmatico to the killing of Italian priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio in 2011 in Arakan.
Arnado, in a statement Thursday, said Gulmatico’s case is also similar to the cases of extrajudicial killings of individuals who are vocal about their opposition against the government.
He said that several peasant organization like APPO and Apo-Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato (ASLPC) are constantly being placed on military surveillance, threats and red-tagging.
“We know several personalities who are behind supporting and running a vigilante group and paramilitary troops in the area,” he added. Arnado however did not name any personality.
Arnado said an independent probe “is an initial step to pursue the filing of criminal case against the culprit.” (davaotoday.com)