Farmer gunned down in another attack on the Left
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—A member of a left-wing organization of farmers was gunned down outside his house at Barangay Halapitan, San Fernando town in Bukidnon province on Saturday (June 16) in what appeared to be another attack on the Left.
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Philippine Peasant Movement or KMP) said one of its members, Nonoy Palma, was killed by three gunmen. Palma was a member of KMP affiliate Kasama-Bukidnon.
KMP cited witnesses saying the gunmen rode a single motorcycle and one was recognized as a local militiaman.
The killing of Palma came hours after the killing of fwo human rights defenders in the province of Sorsogon which a leader of left-wing Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) linked to a shift in the government’s counterinsurgency tactic that now targets noncombatant members of left-wing groups.
In Sorsogon, two still unnamed men calmly approached the human rights workers Nelly Bagasala and Ryan Hubilla as they were paying their tricycle fare and shot them repeatedly, killing the two on fhe spot.
Attacks on human rights defenders had caught the attention of 11 United Nations rapporteurs and human rights experts who issued a rare joint statement on June 7 calling on the UN to conduct an independent investigation of what they said was a “staggering” number of summary killings and attacks on human rights workers committed with impunity.
Malacanang scoffed at the statement, saying it was based on falsehoods and goaded by President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics and the opposition.
The shift in counterinsurgency tactic had been ordered by Duterte who, in January 2018 upon his return from India, said his all-out war on rebels now included what he said were the rebels’ “legal fronts,” or groups identified with the Left.
He said his order to the military was crush the rebellion “and if you have to kill, do it.” JIGGER JERUSALEM
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