DAVAO CITY – An activist who was supposed to join a Human Rights Day rally in Cagayan de Oro City was among those killed in the bomb explosion inside a passenger bus in the central Mindanao province of Bukidnon, on Tuesday.
The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Region (RMP-NMR) posted in its Facebook account the name of the activist as Anita Santillan, 56 years old.
Santillan and companions Violeta Bustamante, Maritess Camarista, Rodmar Camarista, Eden Protacio and Luz Lagulay are members of Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL) Farmers’ Association, said RMP-NMR in the post.
The group was bound for Cagayan de Oro City from Maramag, Bukidnon to attend the Northern Mindanao commemoration of the 64th International Human Rights Day, said BTL Chairman Winnie Loable in a phone interview.
“There were many of us who attended. They were supposed to follow us in Cagayan de Oro,” said Loable.
Santillan is survived by her husband Llewelyn and six children.
According to police and military officials, an improvised explosive device was detonated inside a bus owned by the Rural Transit of Mindanao Inc. in Maramag, Bukidnon at 5:00 pm Tuesday, killing 10 people and wounding 42 others.
In an interview Wednesday, the Eastern Mindanao Command accused the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) for the bomb attack.
BIFF Spokesman Abu Misry Mama, denied the allegation and told a television interview on Wednesday night that it is not their practice to target civilians.