Warrant of arrest out for masterminds of Billanes murder

Apr. 27, 2009

In line with the legal and judicial processes of the People’s Revolutionary Government, may we inform the public that a criminal case has been filed with the People’s Court of FarSouth Mindanao region and a warrant of arrest has been issued against the masterminds and perpetrators of the gruesome murder of anti-mining mass leader and activist Eliezer ‘Boy’ Billanes who was gunned down in cold blood in Koronadal City on March 9, 2009.

Based on the investigation of the National Democratic Front (NDF), on the formal report from the revolutionary movement’s intelligence officers, and from our social investigation of the life of Boy Billanes – it is patently clear that Boy was killed by no other than the mercenary death squad of Task Force Kitaco of the 10th Infantry Division and on orders from no less than its commander-in-chief, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in their effort to silence oppositions against the multinational mining company Xstrata-SMI.

It must be noted that Task Force Kitaco (which stands for Kiblawan, Tampakan and Columbio – the three municipalities which are the main mining sites of the company ) was created by the 10th ID under Major General Reynaldo Mapagu for the singular purpose of protecting Xstrata-SMI, ensuring its unimpeded operations and neutralizing opposition. This task force which operates in the mining areas of Xstrata-SMI, is composed of the 27th IB, the 39th IB, the Military Intelligence Batallion of the 10th Infantry Division and a company of new recruits of the Special Civilian Armed Auxiliary (Scaa). Its command post is located in the company’s base camp in Tampakan and its military operations are funded by the company, which is presently rushing the final phase of its infrastructures so as to begin full mining operations according to their timeframe.

Attendant to the death of Boy Billanes,Task Force Kitaco conducted a military operation which left in its wake a string of human rights violations and atrocities duly recorded by the local human rights organization. In fact, weeks before the death of Billanes, the military’s RSOT started a psywar campaign tagging all opposition to the mining company as ‘Communist’ and/or NPA. For this reason, Boy tried his best to air his side and clear his name by asking for an audience with the 27th IB a few hours immediately prior to his death. Earlier, he had been receiving death threats through his cellphone and was approached at least once by an individual who offered him 300,000 pesos in exchange for keeping silent on the issue of largescale mining. This has been corroborated by close friends of Boy Billanes who even now can quote Boy’s reaction to that time: “Kadugay na nakon diri, ngaa nga ibaligya man nakon ang akong kawsa?” (I’ve been here for so long. Why would I sell my cause?)”.

Prima facie evidence shows that the principals of this crime are no other than the owner and top management of the giant mining company Xstrata-SMI, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Major General Mapagu of the 10th ID, Lt. Col. Joshua Santiago of the 27th IB, Lt. Col. Lyndon Panisa of the 39th and the mercenary death squads under their command. Included in this list is Major General Jovito ‘Berdugo’ Palparan who has been hired as special security consultant of Xstrata-SMI. As a matter of fact Palparan was seen on the premises of the company weeks before Boy’s death or specifically during an orientation of Task Force Kitaco.

Aside from murder, they have also been charged with the unconscionable plunder and betrayal of our patrimony by allowing a foreign multinational company to fully exploit our mineral resources in the quadric-boundary of Southcentral Mindanao through large-scale mining which, in effect, will pollute and destroy our mountains, rivers and farmlands and will mean the further marginalization of thousands of indigenous peoples.

A warrant has been issued to arrest and bring to court the abovementioned individuals. All units of the New People’s Army, the armed city partisans (sparrow units), the milisyang bayan, and the self-defense core of the revolutionary mass organizations have been tasked to follow the guidelines provided by the People’s Revolutionary Government on this regard.

For the NDF-FsMR
(Sgd.) Ka Efren
National Democratic Front
FarSouth Mindanao Region

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