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Senseless Killings of Activists in the Philippines must be Stopped

by Pakisama, PM, APL Tuesday, May. 17, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Florita "Nang Flor" Caya, Elpidio "Jojo" Malinao, Noriel Salazar - some of the recent slain activists in the Philippines.

Senseless Killings o...
april-27-2011-florita-caya-pakisama-philippines-farmers.jpg, image/jpeg, 188x264

PAKISAMA Statement Condemning the Assassination of Another PAKISAMA Leader, Florita “Nang Flor” Caya

The Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (National Movement of Farmers Associations - PAKISAMA) condemns in strongest possible terms the April 27 dastardly assassination of Florita “Nang Flor” Caya (58), General Manager of a local indigenous peoples’ organization (UTCEL) and Vice-President of a national rural peasant women organization (LAKAMBINI) affiliated to PAKISAMA Confederation. According to police autopsy/investigation, at 7 PM of April 27, 2011, while tending her store at the poblacion of Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Florita “Nang Flor” Caya (58) was shot at the back of her head. Her face just below the right eye was blown away. Witnesses saw a man hurriedly walking away from the store and quickly riding at the back of a motorcycle driven by another man.

Nang Flor was a newly-elected general manager of Unified Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders (UTCEL), a group of indigenous peoples (Mandaya, Manobo, Mangguangan & Dibabawon) awarded in 2004 by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title covering 30,468 hectares in 14 barangays of Monkayo, Compostela Valley.

“This is too much! Why Nang Flor!” exclaimed Vicente Fabe, Chairperson of PAKISAMA, a national peasant confederation with presence in 42 provinces in the country. Nang Flor is the third national leader of PAKISAMA, all hailing from Mindanao, gunned down by assassins in a span of two and a half years. Vicente Paglinawan (November 22, 2008) from Davao City and Renato Penas (July 5, 2009) from Sumilao, Bukidnon were assassinated in their respective villages at the height of a campaign for the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) law. Until now, their killers have not been brought to justice.

PAKISAMA is looking at three possible angles on the case: 1) the presence of a rival tribal organization asserting control of the CADT Management, 2) the planned entry of mining companies/interests in the area, and 3) the possible connection between these interests and the rival tribe.

Nang Flor’s base organization, Unified Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders (UTCEL), is the one officially recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the local government units (LGUs) as the legitimate claimant organization to the awarded CADT area. Nang Flor was the 3rd general manager of UTCEL to be killed by unidentified persons in a span of two years. Florelio Andresan was ambushed on July 2009 and Carlito Chavez was gunned down on August 17, 2010. A month ago, all the barangay tribal council chiefs covered by the CADT elected her to replace Carlito. It was learned that since her election, someone was knocking at Nang Flor’s house every night. That was why she decided not to sleep anymore in the village but at the poblacion (town proper).

It was said that the UTCEL leaders have received threats for sometime already: to stop their activities otherwise they would all be liquidated. With the latest killing of Nang Flor, her colleagues are now gripped by fear, believing the threat as real. The second angle involving their CADT is the planned entry of mining companies/interests in the area. UTCEL’s stand is a firm NO to mining. The third possibility asks the question, could there be a direct relation and mutual interest between the rival tribal group and the miners?

PAKISAMA calls on the Aquino Government to conduct a speedy, thorough and impartial investigation on the case and to bring to justice the perpetrators of this dastardly act.

http://www.pakisama.com/

__________________________________________________________________________

FACTSHEET ON THE KILLING OF

FLORITA “Nang FLOR” CAYA

Time and Date of Death: 7:00 in the evening, April 27, 2011

Place: Poblacion Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province, Philippines

Manner of death:

According to police autopsy/investigation, at 7 PM of April 27, 2011, while tending her store at the poblacion of Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Florita “Nang Flor” Caya (58) was shot at the back of her head. Her face just below the right eye was blown away. Witnesses saw a man hurriedly walking away from the store and quickly riding at the back of a motorcycle driven by another man.

Organizational Involvements:

Nang Flor is a member of the local organization of indigenous peoples called Unified Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders (UTCEL) since 2002. The Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) covering 30,468 hectares was awarded by the National C0mmission for the Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) last March 25, 2004 to Mandaya, Manobo, Mangguangan & Dibabawon indigenous peoples residing in 14 barangays of Monkayo, Compostela Valley . Nang Flor belongs to the Mandaya tribe. A month ago, she took her oath as the General Manager of the UTCEL. On April 27, 2011, the day she was assassinated, UTCEL had a meeting and agreed to endorse her to be a member of the provincial government’s Task Force Ancestral Domain.

Other membership and positions held:

- Provincial Women’s Council member

- Barangay (Village) Health Worker

- 3 –term Barangay Council Member since 2001 of Barangay Inambatan, Monkayo, Compostela Valley

- AKBAYAN party-list Member since 2001

- Change Politics Movement Member

- Provincial Coordinator of the People Power Volunteers under the People Power Volunteer Center (PPVC) last May 2010 Presidential election

- Municipal Coordinator of Aquino-Roxas Bantay Balota (ARBB)

In the PAKISAMA confederation, she has been an active leader since 1993 of the provincial federation Kapunungan sa Pundok Mag-uuma sa Dabaw (KPMD), one of the 49 affiliate federations of PAKISAMA.

She has been an active member of LAKAMBINI, a national rural women’s federation affiliated to PAKISAMA, since 1993, became its Mindanao Chair and a member of the PAKISAMA Mindanao Regional Executive Committee (REXCOM) since 1996 and was LAKAMBINI’s Vice President at the time of her death.

In 1999, Nang Flor was one of the ten core pilgrims who led the Great Jubilee Pilgrimage Against Hunger, a 40-day nationwide march-caravan, participated in by 17,000 pilgrims in 34 cities/towns coming from various people’s organizations, NGOs, and dioceses, calling on the Estrada government to heed the calls of the Jubilee Year including the call to return the land to the tillers.

In February 2010, she represented PAKISAMA as part of the delegation of the Asian Farmers Association (AFA) to the global Farmers Forum in Rome, Italy, sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Nang Flor is the third national leader of PAKISAMA, all hailing from Mindanao, gunned down by assassins in a span of two and a half years. Vicente Paglinawan (November 22, 2008) from Davao City and Renato Penas (July 5, 2009) from Sumilao, Bukidnon were assassinated in their respective villages at the height of a campaign for the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) law. Until now, their killers have not been brought to justice.

Personal Information

Born on March 27, 1953, Nang Flor raised her two children, Desiree Flor (32) and Kristo Rey (27), alone since 1984. She has ten grandchildren.

Possible Motives for the killing

There are three possible angles on the case: 1) the presence of a rival tribal organization asserting control of the CADT Management, 2) the planned entry of mining companies/interests in the area, and 3) the possible connection between these interests and the rival tribe.

Nang Flor’s organization, UTCEL, is the one officially recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the local government units (LGUs) as the legitimate claimant organization to the awarded CADT area.

Nang Flor was the 3rd general manager of UTCEL to be killed by unidentified persons in a span of two years. Florelio Anresan was killed on July 2009 and Carlito Chavez was killed on August 17, 2010. A month ago, all the barangay tribal council chiefs covered by the CADT elected her to replace Carlito. It was learned that since her election, someone was knocking at Nang Flor’s house every night. That was why she decided not to sleep anymore in the village but at the poblacion (town proper).

It was said that the UTCEL leaders have received threats for sometime already: to stop their activities otherwise they would all be liquidated. With the latest killing of Nang Flor, her colleagues are now gripped by fear, believing the threat as real.

The second angle involving their CADT is the planned entry of mining companies/interests in the area needing UTCEL’s free and prior informed consent. UTCEL’s stand is a firm NO to mining.

The third possibility asks the question, could there be a direct relation and mutual interest between the rival tribal group and the miners?

PAKISAMA calls on the Aquino Government to conduct a speedy and impartial investigation on the case and to bring to justice the perpetrators of this dastardly act.

http://www.pakisama.com/

__________________________________________________________________________

Philippine Labor Party pays respects to slain forest guard

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM, Workers Party) expressed its condolences to the family of slain Mt. Makiling forest guard Elpidio “Jojo” Malinao and paid its respects to a “fallen comrade.” Renato Magtubo, PM national chair, stated that “Jojo Malinao was not only an advocate for environmental protection, he was also an activist for workers rights. In Jojo’s case, in the line of fire is the place of honor. The University of the Philippines has loss a loyal employee and the working class movement, an able leader.”

Magtubo revealed that Malinao was the vice president of the UPLB chapter of the Organization of Non-Academic Personnel of UP (ONAPUP) and also a national council member of the union aside from being a leader of PM in Laguna.

He called on the authorities to investigate the motive behind Malinao’s killing and find the mastermind. “We demand justice for Jojo. The government must exhaust all means to find the perpetrators of thee crime. Jojo is not the first but hopefully the last trade union leader to be killed in Calabarzon,” Magtubo declared.

The group said that Malinao is the third PM leader killed in Calabarzon since its founding in 2001. Andrew “Bok Inoza, union president of Alaska Milk in San Pedro Laguna and chairperson of PM-Laguna, was shot to death in November 2006. Earlier Emmanuel Cosme Ibe, union president of Liwayway Manufacturing Corp. in Imus Cavite and a founding member of PM-Cavite was also shot to death in April 2001 at the height of the party-list election campaign.

Ibe’s killing came just three months after the assassination of Felimon “Popoy” Lagman, whose brainchild was the formation of PM. According to international human rights groups, the Philippines is second only to Colombia in the number of trade union leaders killed.

May 13, 2011

http://partidongmanggagawa2001.blogspot.com/



PM welcomes Philippine President's concern for Jojo Malinao case

The Partido ng Manggagawa welcomed Malacanang’s (Presidents Office) order for the speedy resolution of the case of slain Mt. Makiling forest guard Elpidio “Jojo” Malinao. “We appreciate President Benigno Aquino III’s order for the authorities to go after the perpetrators of Jojo Malinao’s killing. Jojo was that rare combination of being an advocate for both Mother Nature and Father Labor and justly deserves to be honored by the government as a Filipino hero,” asserted Renato Magtubo, PM chair.

Malinao was an active union leader being vice president of the UPLB chapter of the Organization of Non-Academic Personnel of UP (ONAPUP), a national council member of ONAPUP and a PM leader in Laguna.

Magtubo added that “We do not have any information yet that Jojo’s killing is linked to his union activities. Although in the Philippines, unionism is a deadly vocation.” According to international human rights groups, the country has the second most number of trade union leaders killed after Colombia. The group said that Malinao is the third PM leader killed in Calabarzon since its founding in 2001.

Meanwhile Gloria almariego, ONAPUP national president stated that “The death of Jojo Malinao left a vacancy in the leadership of ONAPUP that will be hard to fill. We are praying that the perpetrators will be caught. UP must do its part to give justice to the death of Jojo.”

PM together with the union ONAPUP stated that it will closely monitor the results of the investigation and prosecution of Malinao’s case.

May 14, 2011

http://partidongmanggagawa2001.blogspot.com/

__________________________________________________________________________

APL statement on the March 23 killing of Noriel Salazar, a trade union advocate and former vice mayor of Alitagtag, Batangas

The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) vehemently condemns the treacherous and despicable murder of Noriel Salazar last Wednesday morning, which is not only deplorable but, if not promptly and diligently solved, may also indicate a renewed impunity for political killings in the country.

Bro. Noriel had just dropped off his wife at a local bank where she works in the town of Alitagtag when two motorcycle-riding gunmen approached him from behind and shot him in the head.

What a cowardly way to slay a man who had steadfastly served his coworkers and co-unionists as the union president of Cocochem or the United Coconut Chem. Inc. in Bauan, Batangas.; who had honestly and wholeheartedly served his townmates in Alitagtag as a municipal councilor for three straight terms or nine years in a row and as a vice mayor from 2007 to 2010; who had actively supported several programs and activities of APL that enabled many Batangueño and Batangueña workers to be aware of their rights and potentials; who had passionately promoted the politics of change and grassroots democracy when he campaigned for the Akbayan party-list; and who had fondly and patiently nurtured his beloved wife, children, parents, siblings and relatives.

In the midst of our sorrow and outrage, the APL is calling on the government and the police to bring to justice the butchers and the mastermind/s of this contemptible assassination of Bro. Noriel Salazar. We strongly urge the authorities to leave no stone untouched to capture the hired killers and to unmask and punish the brains behind this loathsome crime.

http://www.apl.org.ph/

__________________________________________________________________________

“SENSELESS KILLINGS MUST BE STOPPED!”

— CHR Chairperson Etta Rosales

CHR Chairperson Loretta “Etta” Rosales today immediately directed CHR-Region Xl Office to dispatch a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) to investigate the killing of Florita “Nang Flor” Caya, General Manager of a local indigenous peoples’ organization United Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders (UTCEL) and Vice-President of a national rural peasant women organization Lakas ng Kababaihang Magbubukid (LAKAMBINI), an affiliate of the national organization, PAKISAMA (Confederation of Rural Based Organization).

“The scenario was so disgusting, cowardly, and treacherous,” the CHR Chairperson said. The CHR Chief was referring to the way “Nang Flor” was gunned down on the night of April 27. Autopsy report revealed that the 58-year-old woman was shot at the back of her head while tending her store. Her right eye was blown away by the shot.

“Doing such a dastardly act to a helpless lady was unimaginable and beyond comprehension. This is another senseless killing that must be stopped,” the CHR head further explained. “If these people are bold enough to do it to anybody at will, who is safe among us? If the state doesn’t act soon to put an end to the culture of impunity, the perpetrators will even be bolder”, she added.

As she extended her sympathies to the family of “Nang Flor”, Rosales assured them that the independent constitutional body will investigate the matter closely to unmask the perpetrators of the crime. Nang Flor left 2 children, Desiree Flor (32) and Kristo Rey ((27) who she had been raising all by herself. She also had ten (10) grandchildren.

“At the CHR, we investigate the case based on facts . We do not speculate but present our findings through thorough and in-depth investigation. We will get into the bottom of the case. We hope that justice will be brought to the family of the deceased sooner than soon,” the CHR chief disclosed.

http://www.chr.gov.ph/



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