Katungod Lumad ALERT: Ranch guards fire at Higaonons, 2 hurt

Opol, Misamis Oriental – On October 16, 2015, at around 9:30 in the morning, five security guards of Denosta’s ranch harassed and fired at 21 members of a Higaonon community in Sitio Inayaw, hurting two individuals. Jessi Ragmac, 27 years old, was hit in the hand while another victim Giovanni Jaudian, 35 years old, was hurt while when he fell during the commotion. The guards allegedly also pointed their guns at the victims’ women companions.

The victims said they were attending to their crops when the guards appeared and demanded who their leader was. The guards reportedly said that Leo Paguidopon, land caretaker, “ordered them to kill anyone” who would enter the ranch.

The village of Bagocboc was first occupied by Higaonon families, and Sitio Inayaw is part of their ancestral domain.

In 1974, a certain Ella Y. Denosta leased the area from the government and converted it into a ranch, now managed by Paguidopon. The area was later fenced, which forced the Higaonon families out to the adjacent areas. Over the decades, some areas became unused and fences were destroyed.

On October 14, 2014, pushed by hunger, Higaonon families from nearby areas started to till the idle land to survive.

The victims were all members of Pangalasag (Indigenous Shield), a community-based member organisation of Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organisation, which has been active since 2011 in the campaign against expansion of an oil palm plantation in Opol.

Demand justice now!

EXPRESS YOUR CONCERN to the Philippine Government by writing to:

H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III

President of the Republic of the Philippines

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph


Hon. Leila M. de Lima

Secretary, Department of Justice

Tel: 523-8481 (loc. 211/214 ), 521-1908

Fax: 524-5936

Email: info@doj.gov.ph


Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Voice:+63(2) 911-6193, Fax:+63(2) 911-6213


Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon

Chairperson, Commission On Human Rights

Telefax: 929-0102, 928-5655, 926-6188


Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo

Chairperson, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples

Tel: 373-97-87

Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com


Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III

Chair, Justice and Human Rights Committee

Philippine Senate

Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 70 loc. 5548

Direct Lines: (632) 822-9758

Fax No.: (632) 822-9759

Email: kokopimenteloffice@yahoo.com


Rep. Guillermo Romarate Jr.

Chair, Human Rights Committee

House of Representatives

Tel: (632) 931-5001; local 7051, 9518974


Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo

Chair, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples

Tel.: 373-9942


Hon. Yevgeny Emano

Governor, Province of Misamis Oriental

Tel: +63 88 272 4585


Hon. Maximino B. Seno

Mayor, Municipality of Opol

Tel: (08822) 754-003; (088) 875 4004


Copy furnish your letters to info@rmp-nmr.org

For more information, contact us at:

Higala sa Lumad Network

Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center for Interfaith Resources

0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde

9200 Iligan City, Philippines

T/F: +63 (63) 223 5179

E: info@rmp-nmr.org

Katungo Lumad Alert is published by the ‘Higala sa Lumad’ [Friends of the Lumad] Network.

‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network is a support group composed of a broad range of interfaith personalities/representative of organizations synergizing relevant capacities and resources for Lumad communities under attack. ‘Higala’ also serves as an informal monitoring network for Lumad human rights. ‘Higala’ has been established as a component of the ‘Healing the Hurt’ Project.

Published with support from the European Commission.

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of RMP-NMR and ‘Healing the Hurt’ Project partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.


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