THE Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Southern Mindano Region and other progressive groups condemned the death of Jimmy Saypan, the leader of Compostela Farmers Association (CFA) who was also known as a staunch anti-mining activist.
Bayan-SMR Secretary General-Sheena Duazo, in a phone interview, said Saypan was not only a leader of the CFA but also a mining activist who tried to protest the entry of the Agusan Petroleum Corporation since the Aquino administration as such development threatens to grab the land ownership of the farmers in the area.
"Ubay-ubay na sad ang mga death threats ug harassments ang nadawat ani nila kaubang Jimmy apan wala kini nagpaundang sa ilang pagdepensa sa ilang kayutaan (Many death threats were received by brother Jimmy but these did not stop them from defending their land)," Duazo said.
Saypan was shot Monday morning, October 10 by two unidentified men in Barangay New Visayas, Montevista, Compostela Province and was immediately rushed to a hospital in Tagum City but was declared dead at around 2:20 p.m.
Duazo said Bayan and other progressive groups could only see Saypan's anti-mining advocacy as the main reason of his death.
Another co-activist, Bello Tindasan was also subjected to threats and his son's feet were hit by a bullet due to a strafing incident within the residential area.
Duazo said trump up charges were also filed against both.
Duazo added they believe that the 66th Infantry Batallion was behind the incident, adding that the military are "spoilers of peace, against peace, and against peace talks." (KVC)