Agusan mayor: P100,000 reward for arrest of farmworkers' killers

Agusan town mayor: P100,000 reward for arrest of farmworkers’ killers

/ 09:29 PM March 09, 2024

Agusan mayor offers P100,000 reward for info on 2 farmworkers' killers

Agusan del Sur. INQUIRER FILES

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur — Mayor Grace Carmel Paredes-Bravo of this town has offered a P100,000 cash reward for information that may lead to the arrest of suspects in the fatal shooting of two oil palm farmworkers.

The Feb. 29 attack at Barangay San Isidro also injured another individual.


The reward, which the mayor will get from her pocket, will be given to the informant upon thorough validation that may result in the arrest of one or both suspected gunmen, as the local police have already identified persons of interest in the crime.


“I hope this will bring justice to the victims, and prevent such incidents from happening again,” Bravo wrote on her Facebook page.

She emphasized that the reward would aid in gathering more information and evidence against the perpetrators. She believed that based on the police investigation, other individuals may be involved in the commission of the crime.

Local police chief Major Milan Naz expressed gratitude to the mayor for the reward offer, stating that it will assist in resolving the crime promptly.

The shooting incident occurred while the victims, Rolando Ayaton and Jimmy Boy Lucero, were transporting harvested oil palms at the foot of Mt. Magdiwata near the national highway. Another worker, Daniel Gallemba, was injured in the ambush.

Ayaton died on the spot, while Lucero succumbed to his injuries the following day.

Police investigators are exploring the angle of a land claims conflict between a Manobo group called Oyay Mansaloay Antod Ogow Bando Ugong (OMAUBAO) Tribal Clan Organization and NGPI Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (NGPI ARB MPC).


In December 2022, agrarian reform beneficiaries and officials of San Francisco Water District protested against the occupation by OMAUBAO members of areas in San Francisco and Rosario towns in Agusan del Sur, which are planted with oil palm, claimed as their ancestral domain.

READ: Agusan oil palm farm workers to get land titles soon – DAR chief

Bardo “Datu Hag-um” Bando, leader of OMAUBAO and Municipal Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (MIPMR) at the municipal council, cited the certificate of recognition of their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) application, issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples on Dec. 14, 2022, as the basis of their claim.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) provincial office has already covered the contested oil palm farms under the Support for the Parcelization of Individual Titles (SPLIT) program.

In an interview with local reporters on March 4, Bando denied OMAUBAO’s involvement in the incident, asserting that their clan has a standing agreement with the DAR provincial office to resolve the conflict.

He emphasized that the perpetrators should be held accountable for the crime, describing it as a cowardly act.

“If you ambush, do it to your armed targets, not innocent civilians,” Bando told reporters.

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Before his appointment as MIPMR, Bando was known in the town as “Kumander Kalbo,” reportedly used by local politicians as the leader of a private army.

TAGS: Agusan, Crime

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