Duterte urged to look into rise of extradjudical killings against
environmental activists

Kalikasan PNE press release

13 October 2016

Duterte urged to look into spate of extradjudical killings against
environmental activists
Environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the
Environment (Kalikasan PNE) raised alarm over the series of
extrajudicial killings of environmental advocates under the Duterte
administration, urging the president to take decisive action on the
‘under the radar’ attacks against communities opposing ecologically
destructive projects.

“Lumad peasant leader Jimmy Saypan and youth environmentalist Joselito
‘Anoy’ Pasaporte, both from Compostela Valley, are the latest victims of
environment-related killings. Environmental defenders are bearing the
brunt of the growing disregard of human rights especially by police and
military forces. We urge President Rodrigo Duterte to seriously take
action in curbing the continuing impunity against environmental
defenders,” said Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.

The 48 year-old Saypan, a member of the Mandaya Tribe in Davao region
and secretary-general of the Compostela Farmers’ Association (CFA), were
tailed and shot at by an unidentified riding-in-tandem on October 10.
Pasaporte, a 31 year-old member of Panalipdan Youth – Southern Mindanao,
was shot yesterday by unidentified gunmen suspected to hail from the
46th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army while on his way home.

Earlier in September, John Claudio Maniquez, a member of the Panalipdan
Youth chapter in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, was illegally detained by
elements of the 46th IBPA.

“The spate of killings and human rights violations in Compostela Valley
was targeted at leaders and organizers opposing the mine exploration
activities of Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation (Agpet).
Communities within the 12,414 hectares of Agpet’s exploration site have
continued to experience various forms of harassments and rights
violations since it started in 2011,” explained Dulce.

CFA, supported by organizations under Kalikasan PNE’s Southern Mindanao
partner network Panalipdan – SMR, staged a barricade against the entry
of Agpet’s exploration equipment in 2015.

Saypan and Pasaporte are the sixth and seventh recorded cases of
extrajudicial or political killings against environmental defenders in
just over three months of Duterte’s presidency.

“Environmental defenders can contribute to the Duterte administration’s
campaign against irresponsible environmentally-critical projects if the
government upholds our democratic rights. The AFP should stop flouting
Duterte’s marching orders by pulling out of areas land-grabbed by big
businesses and stop serving as attack dogs of these corporations,” said
Dulce.

“We challenge the Duterte administration to launch a full-blown
investigation into military, paramilitary, and police forces and big
businesses involved in human rights violations against environmental
defenders. In fact, Agpet’s exploration permit should immediately be
suspended and subsequently revoked if found to have done nothing to stop
the ongoing rights violations against its critics since 2011,” ended Dulce.

Kalikasan PNE is one of the supporting organizations of the ongoing
3,000-strong Lakbayan (Journey) of National Minorities for
Self-Determination and Just Peace. Part of its upcoming series of
actions will be a picket at the Department of National Defense to demand
accountability over the continuing militarization and killings against
indigenous people and land and environment defenders.

National Secretariat
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, 1100
Tel: 02 433 0184 | E-mail: secretariat@kalikasan.net | Site:
www.kalikasan.net