|JATAM - Mining Advocacy Network|
|Farmer, 2 anti-mining activists killed ahead of Human Rights Day|
The Philippine Online Chronicles
9 December 2012
A militant farmer and two anti-mining activists were killed in separate incidents just days before the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day, Bulatlat reported. Based on the report, Rolando Quijano, a farmer and active member of peasant organization in the southern province of Zamboanga del Sur, was shot dead Friday noon in Ocapan village, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur.
Quijano’s relatives believe the attack is linked to his active opposition to large-scale mining and illegal logging in the province, according to militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).
Later during the same day, anti-mining advocates Cheryl Ananayo and cousin-in-law Randy Nabayay were also killed at around 6 p.m. in the town of Didipio in Nueva Vizcaya.
Ananayo was a member of Didipio Earthsavers’ Multipurpose Association (Desama), a people’s organization opposed to the implementation of the 17,626-hectare Didipio gold-copper project in Kasibu, Nueva Vizacaya.
The murder of Ananayo and Nabaybay came as the Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered a manhunt for a militia leader who is suspected of killing anti-mining activist Datu Jimmy Liguyon in Bukidnon. The directive was issued based on the appeal to the DOJ of Liguyon’s widow and several church people including five bishops of the United Church of Chirst in the Philippines, according to a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.
Fr. Oliver Castor, spokesperson of Task Force-Justice for Environment Defenders (TF-JED) raised an alarm over the rising death toll of environmental activists this year, currently at 15.
“Is this how Aquino wants to celebrate Human Rights Day, with more impunity towards our beleaguered environment defenders?” Fr. Castor said in a report. Kalikasan People’s Network national coordinator Clemente Bautista urged the government to stop the killings of environmental activists.
We have seen how destructive large-scale logging and mining activities have resulted in the intensified disaster impacts of hazards such as the most recent Typhoon Pablo that hit Mindanao. If we allow this impunity towards the likes of Ananayo to continue, who will be left to ensure the integrity of the environment that nurtures and protects us?” Bautista asked.
Previously, human rights alliance Karapatan scored the Aquino administration for the continuing extrajudicial killings and illegal arrests of activists in the country as the state’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan remains in place.
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