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Press Statement

April 30, 2009

PASAKA condemns the killing of lumad leader in Boston

PASAKA Confederation of Lumad Organizations in Southern Mindanao
strongly condemns the killing of lumad leader Leodinio “Manong Dos”
Monson Thursday, April 29, 2009 in Boston, Davao Oriental. Monson is
the chairperson of Nigkahiusa Koy Mag-uuma to Boston (NIGKOMB),
council member of PASAKA and Kusog sa Katawhang Lumad sa Mindanao
(KALUMARAN) and a staunch anti large-scale mining lumad-Mandaya
leader.

Monson was driving a motorcycle when 2 armed men wearing bonnet also
on-board motorcycle were tailing him and upon nearing Monson, the
perpetrators shot him several times at around 4:30PM Thursday. Monson
sustained fatal gunshot wound in the left side of his armpit.

It was just a month ago when Monson reported to PASAKA office
regarding the armed men believe to be members of the Military
Intelligence Battalion (MIB) whom he and his friends noticed to be
tailing him whenever he goes to Boston town. According to him, one of
his friends who happens to be a member of military told him that he is
on top of the military’s Order of the Battle (OB) list and that
anytime he will be gunned down. Monson immediately reported this
incident to the media, in fact he had been interviewed by RMN
regarding the aforementioned threats.

We express our outrage over this brutal killing of our leader who have
been firm in its commitment to defend the lumad people and our
ancestral lands. He had also been steadfast in his anti-mining
position. He led the the big anti-mining protest rally against the
Omega Gold Mining and drilling sites in Boston in December 2007 and
until his death he has been leading the anti-mining campaign in their
area. In February this year, Monson was elected as the new member of
the KALUMARAN Council due to his active involvement not only leading
their local lumad/farmers organization in Boston but he had also been
helping with the other lumad organizations in other communities in the
region.

We grieve because we have lost a very committed lumad leader and a
human rights defender who was versatile, talented, highly respected
and admired by his colleagues. He had also been helping and
facilitating lumad farmers who were victims of human rights violations
in various towns in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. He
accompanied the victims here in Davao City to file cases in the
Commission on Human Rights. He himself had filed cases against the
military under the 67th Infantry Battalion who harassed, threatened
and accused him to be helping a wounded NPA.

Leodinio “Manong Dos” Monson’s martyrdom inspires us to resist more
and be relentless to our struggle against the exploitation and
transgression of mining TNCs and their supporters in the country. He
will always be remembered for his undying courage to be always at the
forefront of the lumad struggle for right to ancestral domain and
right to self-determination. He will always be remembered for
fearlessly standing up for and with the lumad and peasant people in
the pursuit of justice and genuine development. We will continue his
legacy and we will continue to tread the dangerous path of working and
uniting with the people in defense of our land and life.

PASAKA extends its deepest deepest sympathy and condolences to the
bereaved family, friends and colleagues of Leodinio “Manong Dos”
Monson.

We believe that this killing is part of the Arroyo Government’s Oplan
Bantay Laya (OBL) Program which is being implemented by the
cold-blooded criminals under 10th Infantry Division of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) operating in Davao Region. We strongly
denounce this culture of impunity which is intended to silence
dissent, terrorize the people, sow fear among mining-affected
communities and coerce the growing and widening resistance of the
lumad people in opposing anti-people and anti-environment large-scale
mining projects.

The Arroyo regime, its military and agents under 10th Infantry
Division of the AFP in Davao Region must be made to stop these gross
human rights violations and be held accountable for them. PASAKA
reverberate its call for the immediate investigation on the part of
the Boston, Davao Oriental local and the provincial government on this
brutal killing and help bring justice for Monson family.*

Justice for Leodinio “Dos” Monson! Justice for all the Victims of
Political Killings!
Stop Military Persecution of Indigenous People!
NO to large-scale Mining and STOP Militarization!

For reference:

Kerlan ‘Lala’ Fanagel

PASAKA Secretary General

Contact Number: 09192714767

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