Antimining head, son slain in Davao del Sur


09:26 PM August 25th, 2013

August 25th, 2013 09:26 PM

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—An antimining leader and his son were killed in Kiblawan town, Davao del Sur province, on Friday morning.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat-Sarangani-General Santos (Socsksargen) area identified the victims as Datu Anting Freay, 60, and his son Victor Freay, 16.

Bayan said the victims were killed by suspected members of Task Force Kitacom, a special security force created to secure the mining area, some 30 kilometers away from the mountainous Kiblawan town center and one hour of rough road travel.

Kitacom is under the operational control of the 1002nd Army Brigade based in Malungon town, Sarangani province.

In October last year, members of Task Force Kitacom allegedly killed the wife and two children of antimining leader Daguil Capion.

Earlier this year, task force members also allegedly killed another antimining leader, Kitari Capion, younger brother of Daguil.

Ryan Lariba, spokesperson of Bayan-Socsksargen, told the Inquirer that the family of Freay sought the group’s assistance to seek justice for the victims.

Lariba claimed that based on their initial investigation, Datu and his son were killed on suspicion that they were bandits.

“The father was already 60 years old and his son was still a minor. The family of the victims told us that they had never engaged in banditry,” Lariba said.

Fr. Rey Ondap, head of Passionist Missionary’s Justice and Peace for Integrity of Creation, bared that Datu  suffered 17 bullet wounds from automatic assault rifles.

“We went to Bolol Kalon (a remote sitio in the village of Kimlawis) last Saturday to investigate and we found out that the victim suffered 17 bullet wounds. His son who rushed to help him was also shot dead,” Ondap said.

According to Ondap, the nipa hut of the victims was riddled with bullets.

“We found more than

146 spent shells from M14 rifle and FN Minimi submachine gun. They were killed brutally, even worse than the massacre of Juvy Capion and her two children,” Ondap said.

Ondap called on the national government and the Commission on Human Rights to investigate this new incident of killing perpetrated by government forces in a mining area.

Militant groups under Bayan will stage a protest action today in front of the office of Glencore-Xstrata-SMI to condemn the killing, Lariba said.

“Killings of antimining activists continue unabated. We will be holding the protest to condemn it and send the message to the mining company that this will never stop us from opposing the project,” Lariba said.

=Just recently, Glencore-Xstrata-SMI announced its decision to downscale its operation due to the  anti-open pit mine policy of South Cotabato and continuous opposition from various groups. Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao

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