By RUTH LUMIBAO
MANILA — Four years ago, William Bugatti, a Cordilleran human rights worker, was shot dead by suspected elements of the 86th Infantry Battalion after attending a hearing of political prisoners in Ifugao. Last March 2, another environmental and indigenous people’s rights activist was murdered.
Ricardo Mayumi, 52, was shot dead by suspected hired goons and members of the Citizens Afrmed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs).
Mayumi staunchly opposed the construction of destructive dam projects in Tinoc, Ifugao, led by the companies Sta. Clara International Corporation and Ayala Corporation. He has joined several dialogues with the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and several representatives in Congress, in order to defend the ancestral land of indigenous peoples in the Cordillera.
Despite receiving death threats through calls and messages, Mayumi stood his ground. In fact, prior to the incident, Mayumi received a threat in the form of the photo of an Ifugao burial blanket.
“We join the family and friends in our lost and promise to continue the legacy Mayumi started by advancing the Ifugao people right to self determination, to let the Ifugaos decide what kind of development will benefit them, and in the defense of land, life, and resources,” IPM said in a statement.