Land conflict eyed as possible reason for lumad leader's death

LAND CONFLICT is being eyed as the reason behind the death of Renato Anglao, a lumad leader shot to death on February 3, an Indigenous People's organization said.

Roy Camanocan, a member of Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association (Tindoga), of which Anglao was also the secretary-general, said Anglao could have been killed for opposing the plans of Quezon, Bukidnon vice mayor Pablo Lorenzo III to expand his plantation.

READ: 2 lumad leaders killed in Bukidnon

Lorenzo owns the Montalvan Ranch which stands in an ancestral area of the lumads.

Camanocan said to assure that the land will not be taken away, Lorenzo had plans to coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples to clear the 400-hectare ancestral land.

Kalumbay-lumad organization chair Jomorito Goaynon said Lorenzo wants all the lumads to rent their portion of the 400-hectare land, not just to anyone, but only to himself.

"Pero dili kini gusto sa mga lumad kay gusto na nila tikalon ang ilang kaugalingon nga yuta, ug ang gadupa gyud ani nga laban is ang Tindoga organization ra gyud, partikular na si Renato Anglao (But the lumads refused because they want to till their own land, and Tindoga organization was the only one who stood up for this, particularly Renato Anglao)," Goaynon said.

Camanocan lambasted its local police for saying that Anglao is on the list of the identified illegal drug personalities in its area, adding that Anglao never dealt with illegal drugs.

Lawyer Czarina Musni of the Union of Peoples' Lawyers in Mindanao and Higala sa Lumad Network said they will file a murder case against the two identified perpetrators, and if evidences show, Lorenzo will be included in the case.

"Klaro man nga ang motive ug source sa threat is not tungod sa illegal drugs, klaro lang nga cover-up kini, and tinuod mao nga gipatay siya tungod sa iyang pagka-lumad rights defender (It's clear that the motive and source of threat is not because of illegal drugs. It's just a cover-up. Anglao was killed because of him being a lumad rights defender)," Musni said.

On Friday, February 3, Anglao was fatally shot by three unidentified gunmen.

Anglao was aboard his motorcycle on his way home with his wife and child after buying school supplies at the town center when three unidentified gunmen drove to their side and shot Anglao thrice, two at his head and one at his chest.

Musni said they will file a case after his burial on Friday, February 17.

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