7 Farmers Killed in Four Months

Karapatan reported that two weeks before the incident, Billanes received several threats because of his vocal criticisms against mining.

On the day he was killed, the victim even attended a dialogue with a certain Lt. Florentino of the 27th Infantry Battalion at the barangay (village) hall of Mabini, Koronadal City.

Also on March 9, the bodies of two missing farmers were found in Sitio Junob, Barangay Nagbinlod, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental.

Forensic experts of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), members of Karapatan and of Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) exhumed the bodies of Ronel Raguing and Julito Quirante, members of Kaugmaon. The two were allegedly abducted by suspected elements of the 79th Infantry Battalion on January 31 and February 1, respectively.

According to Karapatan, Raguing and Quirante were hog-tied and suffered from still to be determined injuries. As of press time, the NBI is conducting an autopsy and other post-mortem examinations to ascertain the cause/s of their death.

Quirante is a brother of Emilia and Maricris, political prisoners detained at the Guihulngan Provincial Jail.

Antonio Flores, KMP auditor, said, “The situation is really serious. Seven of our leaders and members in Mindanao and Negros were killed in just about four months.”

The group lambasted Mrs. Gloria Arroyo, her anti-counter- insurgency architects National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Executive Sec. Eduardo Ermita and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the intensified extra-judicial killings.

“The Arroyo government is a dictatorship, [she is] dreaming of silencing dissent…” said Flores.(Bulatlat.com)

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