Killing of Peasant Leader in Davao Proof That Oplan Bantay Laya Ongoing Under Aquino

News Release
Sept. 14, 2010

“Barely 100 days into his administration, another activist is killed. We strongly condemn the death of Naldo Labrador. This is proof of the continuing persecution against activists. It is proof that Oplan Bantay Laya remains operational under President Aquino and proof of this administration’s anti-peasant disposition,” thus said GABRIELA Women’s Partylist Representative Luz Ilagan following the death of Naldo Labrador, 39, of the Paquibato District Farmers’ Association (Padifa) and Farmers Association in Davao City- Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas. He is the seventh activist killed under the Aquino administration.

Labrador was killed in front of his child, inside his house in Paquibato, Davao City. Labrador’s wife has identified the perpetrator as Roberto Repe, a member of the Citizens’ Armed Force Geographical Unit. It was also reported that two soldiers both of the 69th Infantry Battalion operating in the area served as a look out. Labrador has long been in the military’s order of battle, accused of being a supporter of the New People’s Army.

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The Gabriela solon also condemned the continuing harassment against
Labrador’s family. It was reported that the military visited Labrador’s wake, three days after the incident.

Ilagan also expressed alarm at reports that the military is exploiting tribal conflicts in the implementation of the government’s anti-insurgency program. Reports have it that the military has been recruiting CAFGU members en masse from certain tribal groups such as the Ata Tribal Association of Davao, Inc or ATADI. “There is also a need to look into reports that the military is behind moves to sow disunity and spark tribal wars in the area.”

“We demand and end to all military operation in the area, the immediate removal of military detachments so that the Lumads can find peace. We call for justice. It is our hope that the perpetrators are prosecuted and that justice is immediately served.” #

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