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Anti-mining advocate in Bukidnon killed inside his own home

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Anti-mining advocate in Bukidnon killed inside his own home


Jimmy Liguyon, in his capacity as barangay captain, consistently refused to sign agreements with mining companies , which would have allowed them access to operate on the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples; this made him the target of harassments by paramilitary groups and the 8th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

BY INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

ILIGAN CITY–Human rights organizations and advocacy groups promoting the rights of indigenous peoples have condemned the March 5, 2012 killing of indigenous leader and human rights advocate Jimmy Liguyon in Purok 2, Barangay Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon. Liguyon was shot dead inside his house allegedly by a leader of a paramilitary group. He was 36.

According to reports posted on the website of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), Liguyon was the vice chairman of Kaugalingong Sistema sa Igpasasindog to Lumadnong Ogpaan (KASILO), an organization of indigenous peoples from the southern municipalities of Bukidon. Kasilo advocates for the defense of land rights, and the the sustainable use of environmental resources. Liguyon was also the Dao barangay captain and a staunch opponent of mining companies as he campaigned against their operations in the region.

Around 6:00 p.m. last March 5, Liguyon was reportedly inside his house when he was approached and then shot at by a certain Aldy “Butsoy” Salusad. Witnesses said the killer’s father, Ben Salusad, is head of a paramilitary group connected to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the San Fernando Matigsalug Tribal Datus or SANMATRIDA. The paramilitary group is said to hold a certificate of ancestral domain and has been actively campaigning for the entry of mining companies in the region since 2009.


(Photo courtesy of FrontlineDefenders.org / bulatlat.com)
Based on accounts of witnesses, as reported to human rights groups, the killer arrived at Liguyon’s house with 15 other individuals. Liguyon was sitting on a bench with his two brothers when Salusad ordered him to move to another bench. When Liguyon got up, Salusad shot and killed him three times. Witnesses also said that Salusad then justified what he did by shouting that Liguyon had refused to sign an agreement with Sanmatrida. He also reportedly issued a threat that anyone else who went against Sanmatrida would also be killed.
Salusad is also reportedly a leader of the New Indigenous People’s Army for Reform (NIPAR), a paramilitary group directly under the AFP’s 8th Infantry Battalion. Salusad’s father had reportedly confiscated the taxes levied by the barangay government on small-scale mining operations in the area.

Resisted offers of mining corporations
 
In a report by the group FrontlineDefenders, it was said that Liguyon, in his capacity as barangay captain, consistently refused to sign agreements with mining companies , which would have allowed them access to operate on the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples. He also refused to recognize the ancestral domain claims made by Sanmatrida..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/03/16/anti-mining-advocate-in-bukidnon-killed-inside-his-own-home/

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