2nd ‘green’ activist killed in ComVal
TAGUM CITY—Another environmental activist in Compostela Valley was killed by still unidentified assailants in a murder case that some police officers said could be among hundreds of cases of street killings related to drugs.
Joselito “Anoy” Pasaporte, 32, was outside a cockpit in the town of Mabini, Compostela Valley when he was attacked by a lone gunman past 4 p.m. on Thursday, according to police yesterday.
Senior Supt. Armando de Leon, acting Compostela Valley police chief, said Pasaporte is a drug suspect who is No. 6 on the watch list of police in
His colleagues, however, said Pasaporte is a member of Panalipdan Youth, an environment group based in Compostela Valley.
Jay Apiag, Karapatan Southern Mindanao spokesperson, said Pasaporte had become the second activist to be murdered in Compostela Valley in just a week.
Senior Insp. Jesser Vagilidad IV, Mabini police chief, said Pasaporte was shot by a man wearing black short pants and shirt outside the cockpit in Barangay Cadunan.
Vagilidad said witnesses heard three gunshots outside the cockpit and three more inside.
“It appears that the assailant had chased the victim into the cockpit where he was finished off,” Vagilidad said.
While provincial police chief De Leon said Pasaporte was a drug suspect, Vagilidad, the town police chief, said policemen in Mabini are still investigating the killing.
The motive for the killing, said Vagilidad, “could be drugs, personal or he might have had a quarrel with gamblers.”
Vagilidad said police are checking Pasaporte’s background as an environmental
Pasaporte was the second activist slain in a week in Compostela Valley.
On Oct. 10, motorcycle-riding gunmen shot and killed Jimmy Saypan, secretary general of the Compostela Farmers’ Association (CFA).
Saypan was on his way to Compostela town when attacked.
CFA and the municipal government of Compostela have been opposing the entry of a large mining company in the rice and banana growing town.
Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corp. (AgPet) has applied for a mining exploration permit for at least 12,000 hectares of largely tribal lands in Compostela’s Ngan village.
Karapatan’s Apiag accused the military of being behind the killings.
But Capt. Rhyan Batchar, spokesperson of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said the accusation is baseless.
Batchar earlier said the Army division is one in condemning the murder of Saypan and allegations of military involvement are “unfounded.”
“We will be grateful to those who will help us purge our ranks,” said Batchar. —FRINSTON LIM
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