QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The leader of a local farmers’ organization in Compostela Valley who was in critical condition after he was shot by two unidentified motorcycle gunmen died in the hospital earlier today, Oct. 11.
Jimmy Saypan, secretary general of the Compostela Farmers Association, was declared dead at 2:20 p.m Tuesday by physicians at the Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
He received initial medical treatment at Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital when he was shot at Purok 6-A, Barangay Jose Poblacion, Montevista town in Compostela Valley Province.
According to human rights group Karapatan, Saypan just left his house around 5 a.m when two men on board a motorcycle shot him.
Jay Apiag, spokesperson of Karapatan Southern Mindanao said Saypan was riding his own motorcycle. Apiag said Saypan was able to return to his house in Barangay Ngan, Compostela Valley to ask for immediate help.
Saypan was known to lead the campaign of CFA against the mining exploration of the Agusan Petroleum Mining in their community.
CFA said the senseless killing was meant to silence Saypan because he stood against the alleged abuses of the military and a vocal critic on the entry of large-scale mining in Compostella Valley province.
In 2015, the CFA pitched tents along the road in Barangay Ngan in its bid to stop the mining exploration by Agpet that has started drilling operations.
Earlier this year, Saypan received death threats which pushed him to file a complaint before the Commission on Human Rights. Saypan’s organization, the CFA, was also tagged by the military as affiliated with the New People’s Army.
CFA believes the threats against Saypan and other leaders are connected with their opposition to the mining activities.
For Apiag, the killing is alarming as it came a day after the second round of talks between the government and the National Democratic Front has ended Sunday in Oslo, Norway.
Karapatan National Secretary General Cristina Palabay said Saypan is the 17th farmer killed under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Palabay called on the peace panel of both government and the NDF to give justice to the death of Saypan.
She said they will forward the incident report to the Joint Monitoring Committee of the government. (davaotoday.com)