BY INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
ILIGAN CITY–Human rights organizations and advocacy groups promoting the rights of indigenous peoples have condemned the March 5, 2012 killing of indigenous leader and human rights advocate Jimmy Liguyon in Purok 2, Barangay Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon. Liguyon was shot dead inside his house allegedly by a leader of a paramilitary group. He was 36.
According to reports posted on the website of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), Liguyon was the vice chairman of Kaugalingong Sistema sa Igpasasindog to Lumadnong Ogpaan (KASILO), an organization of indigenous peoples from the southern municipalities of Bukidon. Kasilo advocates for the defense of land rights, and the the sustainable use of environmental resources. Liguyon was also the Dao barangay captain and a staunch opponent of mining companies as he campaigned against their operations in the region.
Around 6:00 p.m. last March 5, Liguyon was reportedly inside his house when he was approached and then shot at by a certain Aldy “Butsoy” Salusad. Witnesses said the killer’s father, Ben Salusad, is head of a paramilitary group connected to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the San Fernando Matigsalug Tribal Datus or SANMATRIDA. The paramilitary group is said to hold a certificate of ancestral domain and has been actively campaigning for the entry of mining companies in the region since 2009.
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