Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Militant farmer found dead in Agusan Sur

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur, Philippines -- A member of a leftist farmers’ group was found dead with a gunshot wound in the head near a river in Loreto town Saturday.
Analyn Lumawag, deputy secretary general of the human rights group Karapatan in the Caraga Region, said Jorge Dinolan, 40 and a member of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Sur-Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, was the fourth victim of summary execution in the region this year.
Initial reports gathered by Karapatan said Dinolan left his house Friday morning and failed to return. His body was discovered near the Umayam river the day after.
His body bore contusions, apart from the gunshot wound in the head.
Lumawag said the cases of three other summary executions were unresolved.
On January 20, Somo Senga of Pigkauman Higaonon Pangibabasok was shot dead in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.
On March 14, Cepriano Ligaspo, a farmer and motorcycle driver in the sub-village of Monica, Bunawan Brook in Agusan del Sur, was allegedly killed by militiamen.
On April 1, Dandan Quillano was reportedly shot by militiamen.
Lumawag said Ligaspo was among the six farmers arrested on February 20 by militiamen and soldiers of the 36th Infantry Battalion on suspicion they were New People's Army (NPA) rebels.
But officials of the 36th IB, in a statement, said the killing of Ligaspo was the handiwork of an NPA hit squad.
Colonel Jose Viscarra, commanding officer of 401st Army Brigade based in Tago, Surigao del Sur, lambasted the Karapatan for bias in its fact-finding mission in the sub-village of Greenfields in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur where the military discovered a factory of landmines being operated by the NPA.
Viscarra also hit Karapatan for not doing its own investigation on the killing of two policemen in Lianga, Surigao del Sur in March.
(Chris V. PanganibanMindanao BureauLast updated 04:29pm (Mla time) 05/07/2007

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