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Activist farmers shot dead in Sta. Cruz

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DAVAO CITY – Human rights group Karapatan today condemns the killing of two activist farmers in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur by unidentified elements of 39th Infantry Battalion.

According to Karapatan regional Acting Deputy Secretary-General Hanimay Suazo, “Rody Dejos, 50 years old, and his son Rody Rick Dejos, 26, were shot dead Sunday (February 27) at around 12:00 noon in Sitio Malusing, Brgy. Zone-1, Sta.Cruz, Davao del Sur.”

“Both of them are members of the Zone-1 Farmers Association (ZOFA), a local peasant organization affiliated with the progressive Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). The father Dejos is the current Vice-Chairperson of ZOFA-KMP,” said Suazo.

“Both victims bore gunshot and stab wounds and there are signs that the two were tortured before they were killed,” she added.

Karapatan believes that this recent attack against members of progressive groups manifests clearly the real score of Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.

“Sa ginabuhat nga “pag-census” sa mga kasundalohan sa komunidad aron kuno mahibal-an ang mga serbisyo nga ilang ihatag, ang ila gyud tumong mao ang pag-tukoy kinsa ang mga miyembro sa mga progresibong grupo ug diha-diha mahitabo na ang mga harassments,” Suazo said.

Based on Karapatan’s record, the Dejos are the first case of political killings in southern Mindanao region for this year, and the fourth and fifth victims under the Aquino administration.

“We urge an immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from the human rights group, church, media, local government and the Commission on Human Rights be carried out to look into this case,” Suazo said. #

For reference:

Acting Deputy Secretary General
KARAPATAN – Southern Mindanao Region
Mobile No. 09394501308

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