By MARK JOY G. BASALLAJES
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Three farmer-activists who are members of Compostela Famers Association (CFA) were shot dead in Compostela Valley by an unidentified assailant last August 21, a local farmers group reported on Friday.
Noli Villanueva, chairperson of Compostela Valley Farmers Association, identified the victims as Rolly Panebio and couple Gilbert and Jane Labial.
Rolly Panebio, 46, security staff of Salugpungan Learning Center Campus in Bango,Compostela Valley was shot dead by a motorcycle-riding gunmen at 10:30pm in Purok 24 in Bango, Compostela Valley while on his way home after his shift in the school last Saturday night.
Panebio was declared dead on arrival in the hospital.
After visiting Panebio’s wake at Alar Funeral Parlor the next day, Gilbert and Jane Labial were also shot dead by unidentified gunmen.
A barangay councilor who were with the victims at the time of the incident said that Gilbert Labial saw the assailant on their way home but were trapped and repeatedly shot by the assasins.
“The three farmers between February to March surrendered to the 66th IB detachment to ensure their safety as they were tagged as members of the NPA. They were active in the campaign against mining and militarization,” Villanueva said.
“Farmers and lumads were actively defending their lands against the entry of mining company Agusan Petroleum,” he said. “We do not have firearms. We are not NPA. Even without Martial Law, at least 10 members of the organization are in imprisoned in the provincial jail and 6 members were killed under the Duterte administration.”