Woman peasant leader killed in Samar

Jennifrer Tonag was one of the Samar residents who filed a complaint against the military over human rights abuses before the Commission on Human Rights in November last year. (Photo courtesy of Amihan)

Soriano attributed the killing to President Rodrigo Duterte’s memorandum order no. 32 that targets human and land rights activists in the provinces of Samar, Negros, and the Bicol region.

BY JOHN AARON MARK MACARAEG
Bulatlat.com

MANILA—Amihan, a federation of peasant women, called for justice for the killing of Jennifer Tonag, one of its leaders in Northern Samar.

Tonag, 35, came from a seminar organized by the provincial interior and local government office when two still unidentified men shot her, hitting her on the head and chest. She was declared dead on arrival at Northern Samar Provincial Hospital.

“We call for justice for the brutal killing of Jennifer Tonag, a peasant women leader of Northern Samar who was active in defending land rights and demanding relief for victims of calamities,” said Amihan Chairperson Zenaida Soriano in a statement.

An active member of Northern Samar Small Farmers Association (NSSFA), Tonag helped typhoon victims access humanitarian aid and assisted farmers displaced by land grabbing.

Soriano attributed the killing to President Rodrigo Duterte’s memorandum order no. 32 that targets human and land rights activists in the provinces of Samar, Negros, and the Bicol region.

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The government considers Samar as “hotbed of the New People’s Army”, according to Soriano. NSSFA is among the organizations in the province tagged by the military as NPA supporters.

Soriano described the memorandum order as “a total war policy” that “does not differentiate between the armed actors and members of legal and democratic organizations.”

Soriano also called on the Commission on Human Rights, the International Criminal Court, and the United Nations Human Rights Council to include Tonag’s killing among “Duterte’s crimes against humanity and bloody record of violating human rights.”

Tonag was the 32nd peasant victim of extrajudicial killingsince President Duterte assumed presidency in 2016. ()

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