ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-104-2016

25 August 2016
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PHILIPPINES: Three indigenous farmers killed for asserting their right to ancestral land in Bukidnon

ISSUES: Human rights defenders; Killing; indigenous people;
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you that three Lumad farmers were killed, while another three were wounded, including a 15-year-old girl. Lumad refers to indigenous people belonging to Higaonon tribe One of the victims raised his hand in surrender, but was still shot. The perpetrators were hired by landlords occupying the Lumads’ ancestral land.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by the Katungod Lumad Alert and Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples Rights (KARAPATAN))

On 12 July 2016 at 6 a.m., Lumad farmers were having coffee when 13 security guards from the Tagbagani Security Agency surrounded the makeshift tent on the land they were tilling at Sitio Inalsahan, Lupiangan village, Sumilao, Bukidnon. The guards encircled and shot the Lumads.

Remar Mayantao, a council member of the Sitio (part of a village far from the center of the village) Inalsahan Indigenous Peoples Organization, raised his arms in surrender to the guards when they shot him in his right abdomen, causing him to fall. A security guard then cut his throat with a knife that led to his death.

Senon Nacaytuna attempted to run, but slipped and fell. Another security guard turned him over and shot him in the chest and died. According to witnesses, the guards replaced a weeding bolo in Nacaytuna’s hand with a 38mm gun. They were on their way to the farm when the shooting happened. Rogen Suminao was killed after being hit on the left cheek and forehead. Three other Lumad farmers including a 15-year-old girl were wounded.

According to the survivors, gunfire lasted for five minutes. The guards destroyed three of the tents. The tents were set up on the contested area that the Lumad group had been claiming but was occupied by RAMCAR Inc.
The guards were hired by Landlords Ramon and Carmen Agustines, owner of RAMCAR Inc. RAMCAR currently occupies the ancestral land of the Higaonon tribe in Lupiagan village, Sumilao, Bukidnon.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

In 2011, the Higaonon community in Lupiagan village processed an ancestral domain claim over 5,000 hectares of land in the said village. However, they found out that only 2,400 hectares were left untitled over the years, the rest of the ‘borrowed’ land from their ancestors already privately owned by institutions and individuals. The group settled for an application for the 2,400 hectares.

Part of the land claimed by the Lumads included land from RAMCAR Inc., fenced to raise cattle in the area. On 11 June 2014, the Lumads set up tents on the contested land. On the next day, they were forced to go away by the guards and transfer their tents outside the fenced area. The security guards then put up a guardhouse in front of them.

In the first week of July, Datu Makalingaw received notice that there is already a request from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to allow them to enter the lands they are claiming. However, the group is still waiting for a dialogue that has to be facilitated by the Local Government Unit of Sumilao and the NCIP. The Lumads also set up three more tents on July 10, this time inside the territory fenced by RAMCAR Inc.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below expressing your concern about the case.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, on the situation of human rights defenders and Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-104-2016

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: Three indigenous farmers killed for asserting their right to ancestral land in Bukidnon

Name of killed victims:
1. Remar Mayantao, a council member of the Sitio Inalsahan Indigenous People Organization. Remar raised his arms in surrender to the guards but still shot in his right abdomen. His throat was cut with a knife that led to his death.
2. Senon Nacaytuna turned him over and shot his chest and died
3. Rogen Suminao was killed after being hit on the left cheek and forehead.
They all belong to Higaonon tribe.

Name of wounded victims:
Three Lumad farmers including a 15-year-old girl were wounded. They belong to Higaonon tribe.
Alleged Perpetrators: 13 security guards from the Tagbagani Security Agency hired by Landlords Ramon and Carmen Agustines, owners of RAMCAR Inc.
Date of incident: 12 July 2016 at 6 a.m.
Place of incident: Sitio Inalsahan, Lupiangan village, Sumilao, Bukidnon

I am writing to raise my grave concern on the killing of three indigenous persons in Bukidnon.

On 12 July 2016 at 6 a.m., Lumad farmers were having coffee when 13 security guards from the Tagbagani Security Agency surrounded the makeshift tent on the land they were tilling at Sitio Inalsahan, Lupiangan village, Sumilao, Bukidnon. The guards encircled and shot the Lumads.

Remar Mayantao, a council member of the Sitio Inalsahan Indigenous Peoples Organization, raised his arms in surrender to the guards when they shot him in his right abdomen, causing him to fall. A security guard then cut his throat with a knife that led him to death.

Senon Nacaytuna attempted to run, but slipped and fell. Another security guard turned him over and shot him in the chest and died. According to witnesses, the guards replaced a weeding bolo in Nacaytuna’s hand with a 38mm gun. They were on their way to the farm when the shooting happened. Rogen Suminao was hit on the left cheek and forehead. Three other Lumad farmers including a 15-year-old girl were wounded.

The guards destroyed three of the tents set up on the contested area that the Lumad group had been claiming, occupied by RAMCAR Inc. The guards were hired by Ramon and Carmen Agustines, owners of RAMCAR Inc.
I urge you to conduct an impartial investigation into the three deaths. Also, please ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable if proven guilty. I further urge you to ensure that the family of the victims must be given adequate protection should they decide to prosecute.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Rodrigo Duterte
President
Republic of the Philippines
New Executive Bldg. Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Mr. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman 1101
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

3. Police Director Ronald M. Dela Rosa
Chief
Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame,
Quezon City 1111
PHILIPPINES

4. Mr. Vitaliano N. Aguirre II
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Telefax: +632 523-9548

5. Mr. Ismael D. Sueno
Secretary
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
DILG NAPOLCOM Center
EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 925-0332

6. Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chair
National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
2/F N. dela Merced Bldg. corner West &
Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Tel: +63 8373-9942
Email: chairpersonoffice@gmail.com

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (ua@ahrc.asia)

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