Suspected soldiers shoot dead Lumad woman in Agusan Sur

Updated 11:52 p.m. May 27, 2018

Beverly Geronimo’s body found in barangay Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur. (Photo courtesy of Save Our Schools Network)

Two armed men in civilian clothes stopped them on the road and fired at them. Beverly sustained seven gunshot wounds, while her daughter was hit on the arm.

By RUTH LUMIBAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — A few days after the commemoration of the first anniversary of martial law, another indigenous woman was brutally killed in barangay Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur.

According to an urgent alert sent by Save Our Schools (SOS) Network, an alliance of various non-government organizations (NGOs), at around 12 noon on May 26, Beverly Geronimo and her eight-year old daughter and two other relatives were on their way home after buying school supplies for the upcoming opening of classes when two armed men in civilian clothes stopped them on the road and fired at them. Beverly sustained seven gunshot wounds, while her daughter was hit on the arm. The gunmen were believed to be agents of the Philippine Army’s 25th Infantry Battalion.

Beverly, 27, was an active member of the Tabing Guangan Farmers Association (TAGUAFA) and the Parents-Teachers’ Community Association (PTCA) of the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) Academy. Since 2009, Beverly had experienced harassment, intimidation and coercion from soldiers present in their community. She was staunchly opposed large scale mining companies such as OZ Metals and Agusan Petroleum.

As of February 2018, five Lumad have been victims of extra-judicial killings in Mindanao, two coming from Agusan Del Sur, according to the report of Barug Katungod, an alliance of human rights workers in Mindanao. A total of nine battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are deployed in the Northeastern Mindanao Region. Due to intense military operations and aerial strikes, about 3,247 individuals have been forced to evacuate.

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