Anti-mining Lumad leader killed in Davao Oriental

May. 28, 2009

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY A lumad leader was gunned down just a few meters from the town hall of Boston in Davao Oriental yesterday, bringing to 10 the total number of activist killings in the region since May last year.

Ludenio Monson, a Mandaya farmer and leader of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Boston (United Farmers of Boston), was shot at around 4:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday, a volunteer from the Solidarity Action Group for Indigenous Peoples (Sagip) told Davao Today in a text message.Monson was with a companion at the time of the incident.

He told colleagues last month that he (Monson) was already a marked man his area. He said he got information that his name was in the militarys Order of Battle list and that he could be taken anytime. He was among those strongly opposed to mining.

The lumad group believes that Monsons active stand against mining and human rights violations in Boston communities made him a target for assassination.

Monson filed a case at the Commission on Human Rights Region XI (CHR) office in October last year against military men who allegedly surrounded their house and intimidated his family with their firearms. But Sagip volunteers said the CHR did not consider Monsons case a human rights violations case because, at that time, no harm befell Monson and his family yet.

In an October 7 interview with the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN)-DXDC in Davao, Monson said the military accused him of helping bury an NPA rebel killed in an encounter, thats why they (the military) harassed his family. He said the accusation was not true.

In February last year, Monson also told Davao Today how he and his wife were stopped by soldiers on the road to their home in barangay Caatihan, where their children were left on their own. He said they were in a hurry because there was an impending armed confrontation between the soldiers and the rebels and they feared for the childrens safety.

But when Monson asked the soldiers to let them through, he was scolded and threatened.

Monson was among those who led the farmers march-protest at the provincial capitol, calling for a stop to the military operations in Boston, Baganga and Cateel towns of Davao Oriental in the first quarter of last year. Residents complained the military operations affected their livelihood and posed grave threats to their lives.

In 2007, Monson also led a barricade against the drilling operations of Australian-owned Omega Gold in sitio Napo, 5M in Barangay Caatihan, a village that bordered the gold-rich Diwalwal mining town of Compostela Valley. (Cheryll Fiel/

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