Rights group says state agents behind peasant activist slay in Tagum
TAGUM CITY – Human rights group Karapatan on Sunday blamed state agents as behind Saturday night’s killing of a peasant activist outside a shopping mall here.
Jay Apiag, Karapatan Southern Mindanao secretary general, said James Flores, 33, was a member of the Pederasyon sa tanang Asosasyon sa mga Mag-uuma ug Lumad sa Agusan ug Davao (Federation of Peasant and Indigenous Peoples’ Associations of Agusan and Davao or Pamulad).
Flores, a resident of Purok Cadena in Barangay Mankilam here, had just emerged from the Gaisano Mall around 6 p.m. when he was shot and killed by a lone gunman.
“Flores was tying his groceries to his motorcycle parked at the back of the shopping mall when an unidentified gunman drew near him and shot him multiple times,” Apiag said.
He described Flores as a staunch peasant rights activist and that the military and the police had been targeting militants to silence dissent.
Authorities had not issued a statement on Karapatan’s fresh claim but they denied involvement in similar cases that had killed other militants in recent days. /je
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