March 21, 2018
Anti-mining peasant leader killed in Compostela
Mindanao is drenched with blood of farmers, environment and HR defenders killed by state forces
The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today strongly condemned the killing of another peasant leader in Compostela Valley.
Agudo Quillio, 52, a resident of Purok Gemilina, Sitio Lawaan, Barangay Kingking, Pantukan in Compostela Valley and the chairperson of Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Pantukan (HUMAPAN) was shot dead by armed elements under the 46th Infantry Battalion around 6:30 in the evening of March 20, 2018, according to KARAPATAN-Southern Mindanao Region.
Quillio is the latest victim of unending extrajudicial killing of farmers, peasant leaders and advocates of genuine agrarian reform. “We demand justice for Quillio and all victims of state-sponsored killings under the Duterte regime.”
“The 46th killing battalion strikes again in Compostela Valley of Death,” says KMP secretary general Antonio Flores.
Quillio was at their kitchen preparing for their dinner last night when 3 assailants forcibly entered their house and immediately shot Quillio multiple times in his chest resulting to his immediate death.
“This military unit has killed so many farmers in Compostela Valley including peasant leader Jimmy Saypan, who was killed in September 2016, and elderly couple Leonila Tapasan-Pesadilla, and Ramon Pesadilla killed in March 2017. More than 20 farmers and peasant leaders from Compostela Valley were killed since 2016 and they were all staunch anti-mining activsits,” Flores said. Saypan and the Pesadillas were active in the campaign against the entry and exploration of Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation in their town in Ngan, Compostela coverning 2, 400 hectares.
Quillio and his organization HUMAPAN are strongly opposing the operation of Canadian mining firm St. Augustine Gold and Copper Limited and the $2-billion Kingking Mining Project in Pantukan. He was also an active supporter of the ARB One Movement, an organization of agrarian reform beneficiaries in the region in their struggle for genuine agrarian reform and free land distribution.
“We demand the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to exercise their quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative powers to probe the killings of anti-mining activists and environment defenders in Compostela Valley,” says Flores. The DENR should also check the mining permits of companies in areas wherein anti-mining activists are killed,” says Danilo Ramos, chairperson of KMP.
HUMAPAN is a municipal peasant organization in Pantukan town under the provincial peasant organization, Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Walog Compostela (HUMAWAC), an affiliate organization of KMP-Southern Mindanao Region.
Mining companies are thriving in Compostela Valley. It is home to Mt. Diwalwal, also known as Mt. Diwata, an area considered to have among the richest gold deposits in the Philippines.
There are at least 13 mining applications covering 55, 883 hectares of land in Davao region which were previously endorsed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region XI to the DENR central office.
Next month, KMP and Mindanao for Civil Liberties will lead a fact-finding mission to Mindanao to probe the extent of peasant killings and human rights violations in peasant communities. ###
Reference: Antonio Flores, 0921-2726682