Philippines: Cordilleran human rights worker gunned down in Ifugao
William Bugatti, member of rights group the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) was killed 7 PM last night in Ifugao.
In a text message received by Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA)from human rights organizations in the Cordillera, Bugatti was probably on his way home from the CHRA office when he was gunned down at the Ifugao Highway in Bolog, Kiangan in Ifugao. Bugatti sustained three gunshot wounds. Indigenous peoples alliance Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP), supects military forces in Bugatti's killing.
Piya Macliing Malayao, spokesperson of KAMP, says that William as well as other members of legal mass organizations and human rights groups in the Cordillera are among a 'target list' of the military. "Recently, we raised concerns on the posters that surfaced in Ifugao that bears the names of some of our leaders and members, saying that they are on the payroll of communist insurgents. Apparently, this is also the military's hitlist," Malayao said. "William's killing sends a gravely disturbing message to members of people's organizations and human rights defenders in the region."
Beverly Longid, president of Katribu Partylist, Emerson Soriano, a staff member of the Cordillera People's Alliance, and Jude Baggo of the CHRA are among the Cordillerans in the posters put up by a group called the Ifugao People’s Council. “Rupa ken Nagan dagiti NPA nga Agsusuweldo” (Faces and names of NPA receiving salaries) were written in the posters first sighted in Banaue and Lagawe, Ifugao last March 25, 2014. Others included in the posted bills were former Makabayan partylist representatives Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.
Similarly, KARAPATAN, an alliance for human rights in the Philippines, produced a document allegedly from the Charlie Company of the 86th Infantry (Highlander) Battalion, which is based in Barangay Impugong, Tinoc that listed 28 people as 'target persons.' Most of the persons on the list are members of farmer, women, and human rights groups, including Bugatti. Two of the listed 'target persons' were from a local government unit and Department of the Environment Natural Resources personnel. "We now fear for the lives of the others listed on the military's target catalog," Malayao said.
"This list proves that there are precision strikes being made to unarmed civilians under the Aquino government's internal security plan Oplan Bayanihan. Until the Oplan Bayanihan and like counter-insurgecy programs are junked, we could expect more extrajuducial killings," Malayao stated.
According to KAMP, this is the third incidence of extrajudicial killings of indigenous peoples in 2014, which killed five indigenous peoples.
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