MAC: Mines and Communities

Philippines: Anti-mining leader dies in hospital after gunmen attack

Published by MAC on 2016-10-11
Source: Inquirer.net, Davaotoday.com (2016-10-18)

Appalling human rights situation continues to shock

Jimmy Saypan, secretary general of the Compostela Farmers Association (CFA), was shot dead by two unidentified motorcycle gunmen at his house in Barangay Ngan, Compostela Valley province. Saypan was known to lead the campaign of CFA against mining exploration by Agusan Petroleum Mining in his community. CFA stated that the senseless killing was meant to silence Saypan, because he was a vocal critic of large-scale mining and alleged military abuses in the region.

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) raised alarm over the series of extrajudicial killings of environmental advocates under the Duterte administration, urging the president to take decisive action on the ‘under the radar’ attacks against communities opposing ecologically destructive projects. There are now seven cases of environment-related killings under Duterte administration.

Environmental activists appreciated that Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary, Gina Lopez, visited the wake of Lumad farmer-activist Jimmy Saypan at the United Methodist Church in C.M. Recto.

See also:

2016-02-06 Philippines: Murderous mining

DENR Sec. Lopez praised for calling for justice over death of Lumad anti-mining activist

Kalikasan PNE press release

18 October 2016

It was a kind and heart-felt gesture that environmental activists appreciated and applauded when Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez visited the wake of Lumad farmer-activist Jimmy Saypan today and said, “Jimmy’s death will not be in vain, there must be justice.”

"We deeply appreciate Sec. Lopez’s solidarity with the family and comrades of Lumad farmer-leader Jimmy Saypan and her cry for immediate justice. Her show of compassion during these trying times is a source of comfort for us who vow to carry on the work of Ka Jimmy. We hope to work with Sec. Lopez in investigating the killing of Ka Jimmy and the general climate of impunity against indigenous and environmental defenders like him,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE).

Saypan, the secretary general of Compostela Farmers Association (CFA), has long been harassed and vilified by pro-mining groups and the Philippine Army for his organization’s opposition to the mining exploration of Agusan Petroleum and Minerals (Agpet), which covers 12,414 hectares in the province.

The visit of Sec. Lopez came on the heels of a dialogue between environment and indigenous people’s organizations who are part of the ongoing Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya para sa Sariling Pagpapasya at Makatarungang Kapayapaan (Caravan of National Minorities for Self-Determination and Just Peace), a 3,000 convergence of indigenous people, Moro people, and other national minority groups from Northern Luzon to the far south of Mindanao to protest the militarization and plunder of their communities.

There are now seven cases of environment-related killings under the current administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, the last two of which occurred in Compostela Valley province. At least 101 cases of politically-motivated killings have been recorded by Kalikasan since 2001.

“The long-standing trend that continues to date is that majority of the killings is suspectedly perpetrated by state military or paramilitary forces. We hope DENR can lead in forming a task force that will investigate both the suspects of environment-related killings and the big businesses that either have direct links with or stand to benefit from the militarization,” said Dulce.

A 1,000-strong contingent of the Lakbayan, which attempted to hold a picket protest earlier today outside the Department of National Defense to demand accountability of military forces allegedly involved in the killings of indigenous people, were violently dispersed with water cannons by the military.

“The dispersal of a peaceful protest outside the military’s national headquarters belies their claim of non-involvement in the killings of environmental defenders. If they claim to respect the people’s rights, they should immediately stop the militarization of communities opposing destructive big businesses and face an independent investigation,” ended Dulce.#

National Secretariat
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 433 0184 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site: www.kalikasan.net


Duterte urged to look into rise of extradjudical killings against environmental activists

Kalikasan PNE press release - http://www.kalikasan.net

13 October 2016

Environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) raised alarm over the series of extrajudicial killings of environmental advocates under the Duterte administration, urging the president to take decisive action on the ‘under the radar’ attacks against communities opposing ecologically destructive projects.

“Lumad peasant leader Jimmy Saypan and youth environmentalist Joselito ‘Anoy’ Pasaporte, both from Compostela Valley, are the latest victims of environment-related killings. Environmental defenders are bearing the brunt of the growing disregard of human rights especially by police and military forces. We urge President Rodrigo Duterte to seriously take action in curbing the continuing impunity against environmental defenders,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

The 48 year-old Saypan, a member of the Mandaya Tribe in Davao region and secretary-general of the Compostela Farmers’ Association (CFA), were tailed and shot at by an unidentified riding-in-tandem on October 10. Pasaporte, a 31 year-old member of Panalipdan Youth – Southern Mindanao, was shot yesterday by unidentified gunmen suspected to hail from the 46th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army while on his way home.

Earlier in September, John Claudio Maniquez, a member of the Panalipdan Youth chapter in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, was illegally detained by elements of the 46th IBPA.

“The spate of killings and human rights violations in Compostela Valley was targeted at leaders and organizers opposing the mine exploration activities of Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation (Agpet). Communities within the 12,414 hectares of Agpet’s exploration site have continued to experience various forms of harassments and rights violations since it started in 2011,” explained Dulce.

CFA, supported by organizations under Kalikasan PNE’s Southern Mindanao partner network Panalipdan – SMR, staged a barricade against the entry of Agpet’s exploration equipment in 2015.

Saypan and Pasaporte are the sixth and seventh recorded cases of extrajudicial or political killings against environmental defenders in just over three months of Duterte’s presidency.

“Environmental defenders can contribute to the Duterte administration’s campaign against irresponsible environmentally-critical projects if the government upholds our democratic rights. The AFP should stop flouting Duterte’s marching orders by pulling out of areas land-grabbed by big businesses and stop serving as attack dogs of these corporations,” said Dulce.

“We challenge the Duterte administration to launch a full-blown investigation into military, paramilitary, and police forces and big businesses involved in human rights violations against environmental defenders. In fact, Agpet’s exploration permit should immediately be suspended and subsequently revoked if found to have done nothing to stop the ongoing rights violations against its critics since 2011,” ended Dulce.

Kalikasan PNE is one of the supporting organizations of the ongoing 3,000-strong Lakbayan (Journey) of National Minorities for Self-Determination and Just Peace. Part of its upcoming series of actions will be a picket at the Department of National Defense to demand accountability over the continuing militarization and killings against indigenous people and land and environment defenders.

National Secretariat
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 433 0184 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site: www.kalikasan.net


Anti-mining farmer dies in hospital after attack by riding-in-tandem

EARL O. CONDEZA

http://davaotoday.com/main/human-rights/anti-mining-farmer-dies-in-hospital-after-attack-by-riding-in-tandem/

October 11, 2016

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.


Anti-mining farmer shot, wounded in ComVal

Frinston Lim

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/824052/anti-mining-farmer-shot-wounded-in-comval

October 10, 2016

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte — Gunmen on a motorcycle shot and wounded a leader of a militant farmers’ group in Montevista, Compostela Valley, early Monday.

Jimmy Saypan was rushed to a local hospital after sustaining gunshot wound in the buttocks following the attack, according to Senior Insp. Rocky John Dalida, Montevista police station chief.

Saypan, the secretary general of Compostela Farmers’ Association (CFA), a progressive group of small-time banana growers and workers in Compostela Valley, was driving on his motorcycle along the national road in New Visayas village when shot by two gunmen riding on another motorcycle around 5:40 a.m., Dalida said.

“He was on his way to Compostela (town) when he was attacked. Initial investigation revealed the gunmen might have tailed the victim as he went out from his house,” Dalida told Philippine Daily Inquirer by mobile phone, adding the victim was rushed by responding police to a local hospital where he was undergoing treatment.

The CFA, along with the municipal government of Compostela, has been opposing the entry of a large mining company in the rice and banana growing town.

Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corp. (AgPet) has applied for a mining exploration permit covering at least 12, 000 hectares of largely tribal lands in Compostela’s Ngan village.

Dalida said an investigation has started to identify the gunmen and determine their motives for attacking Saipan.

Monday’s attack was the latest against CFA officers. In 2015, rights group Karapatan-Southern Mindanao has accused the military’s 66th Infantry Battalion of firing at a cluster of houses in a community in Ngan, including that of CFA chair Bello Tindasan.

The Army’s 10th Infantry Division had belied Karapatan’s allegation.


Recent string of rights violations vs environment defenders by AFP a sabotage of peace efforts, green group says

Kalikasan PNE - Press Release

21 September 2016

Environmental activist group Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) expressed alarm over the breaking reports extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, and other human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by military agents in the regions of North Luzon and Southern Mindanao.

"We have just received reports of the illegal detention of John Claudio Maniquez, a young environmental defender who is part of our local affiliates in Compostela Valley, by elements of the 46th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army while two of his companions have apparently been forcibly disappeared. Three other peasant farmers opposing environmentally critical projects were killed in separate incidents in North Cotabato and Isabela. The military and private security of corporations seem to be sabotaging the ongoing peace efforts with this continuing militarization in areas where destructive projects are found, and environmental advocates are suffering for it," said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

Maniquez, a 21 year-old peasant youth who is member of the local environment group Panalipdan Youth – Pantukan, and his two companions who were identified in the initial reports as 'Bla' and 'Iking' were just putting up posters announcing a local peace forum last September 19 when they were tailed by military soldiers and later on illegally arrested.

A certain Sgt. Domingo R. Ygat of the 46th-IBPA reportedly filed a complaint against Maniquez for his alleged illegal possession of a magnum 357 revolver and being an alleged member of the New People's Army.

"The ludicrous complaint that Maniquez was an armed NPA member has been a tried-and-tested technique of the police and military to harass activists and citizens. We see no other reason for the detaining of Maniquez except their continuing opposition to the entry of the large-scale mining project of the Villar-owned company Nadecor together with United States-based St. Augustine Copper & Gold Ltd.," said Dulce.

Earlier, peasant groups reported the killing of Ariel Diaz, a peasant leader of DAGAMI-Delfin Abano who have led opposition to land grabs by German solar firm LP4P and various plantation and contract farm interests, last September 8 by suspected military or private goons.

Days after on September 16, two El Nino-affected farmers were fired upon by paramilitary group Bagani in Sitio Kiatao, Brgy. Lanao Kuran, Arakan. The still unnamed farmers, who were husband and wife, were confirmed to have died from the shooting.

"This recent spate of killings involving peasant farmers defending their lands and demanding justice from worsening climate impacts brings the number of cases of political or extrajudicial killings of environmental defenders that we have recorded since 2001 to 99. Of these almost a hundred incidents, five cases occurred already under the Duterte administration," noted Dulce.

Kalikasan PNE said they will closely coordinate with their local affiliate organizations in working for the release of Maniquez and the confirmation of his companions' whereabouts. They also reiterated their calls on the Duterte administration for the accountability and eventual dismantling of paramilitary groups, and the pull-out of military and paramilitary forces from areas threatened by extractive projects.

"A possibility we are considering is the filing of complaints before the joint monitoring committee of the GRP-NDFP peace talks. We want to discuss to the two negotiating parties these recent human rights violations and the worsening rights situation of environmental defenders in confronting the intertwined attacks of state militarization and natural resource plunder," ended Dulce.#

National Secretariat
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 433 0184 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site: www.kalikasan.net

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