SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
On an October 4th SF CHRP found out that indigenous leader Gilbert Paborada was killed, shot five times (earlier it was reported he had eight gun shot wounds), by either security forces affiliated with A. Brown, a palm oil company, or forces affiliated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In a previous meeting on June 4th where he and the community were opposing the land grabbing operations of the A. Brown he was “red-baited” and accused of being a member of the communist New People’s Army. In March of 2011 he relocated from Bagocboc due to previous threats against his life for his organizing activities.
Ronalyn V. Olea wrote this piece for Bulatlat:
A local leader of an indigenous people group opposed to a palm oil plantation was shot dead by suspected state agents in San Nicolas, Puntod, Cagayan de Oro City, October 3.
At around 3 p.m. yesterday, Gilbert Paborada, 47, chairman of Pangalasag (Indigenous Shield), was about to alight from a motorela (public tricycle) when he was shot at by two motorcycle-riding men, according to the initial data gathered by the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP)-Northern Mindanao Region (NMR).
Witnesses said one of the men moved closer to Paborada and fired at him again in the head. Paborada sustained five gunshot wounds: two on his chest, one in the abdominal area and another on his hand. He was dead on the spot.
The gunmen on board a white motocross-type motorcycle quickly sped away.
“We believe that Paborada was killed because of his stance against A. Brown Company’s palm oil plantation,” Jomorito Goaynon, chairman of Kalumbay, a regional organization of indigenous peoples in Northern Mindanao, told Bulatlat.com in a phone interview.
Paborada’s organization Pangalasag has been resisting the expansion of the palm oil plantation of A. Brown Company in the villages of Bagocboc and Tingalan in Opol, Misamis Oriental.
Pangalasag said the company did not secure their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) before encroaching on their ancestral domain. In a fact-finding mission in May, the group said, A. Brown grabbed their lands, destroyed their crops and forced them to leave.
Goaynon said A. Brown’s representative Raffy Magbanua once warned Paborada against opposing the palm oil plantation. “Magbanua told him to stop or he would regret what might happen to his life,” Goaynon said in Filipino.
The Kalumbay leader also said Opol Mayor Dexter Yasay, in a dialogue with Pangalasag on June 4, publicly accused Paborada of being a member of the New People’s Army (NPA). The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
He is survived by his wife and their seven-year old child.
Kalumbay said Paborada is the fourth member of an indigenous people’s group who had been killed in Northern Mindanao since President Benigno Aquino III assumed office.