Woman peasant leader killed as death squads and mercenaries remain on the loose amid COVID pandemic 

State terror unabated in Mindanao

While the country is bearing with the lockdowns and community quarantines related to the COVID19 pandemic, state-backed mercenaries and death squads remain on the loose and wrecking havoc on the lives of farmers and indigenous people in rural villages.



At around 7pm last night, woman peasant leader Nora Apique, 66, of the Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Surigao del Sur (KAMASS-KMP), was shot to death by armed men on board a motorcycle in Bgy. Patong, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Apique was with her relative at the time of the shooting.

According to the initial incident report from KMP-Caraga, Apique was on her way home when motorcycle-riding gunmen fired at her. Before the incident, Apique has been a constant victim of threats, redtagging, and harassment from elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and paramilitary troops. “The 36th IBPA under the 401st Infantry Brigade deployed in San Miguel, Surigao del Sur must explain this atrocity and heinous crime.”

The killing was carried out as Surigao del Sur is under a “preventive community quarantine” and checkpoints were set up across the province and entire Caraga region. The elderly peasant leader is the 249th farmer killed under the Duterte regime.

Apique, or Nanay Nora as she was fondly known, was a long-time leader of KMP’s provincial chapter, KAMASS since the 1980s. She was a member of her barangay’s Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC), the chairperson of the Municipal ARC, and since 2016 a member of the Provincial ARC. In 2017, Apique participated in KMP Caraga’s peasant caravan to Manila demanding free irrigation services for farmers. She also joined several Manilakbayan ng Mindanao people’s caravan and KMP’s 2018 International Fact Finding Mission in Caraga region to probe the human rights abuses in Mindanao under Duterte’s Martial Law.

“We demand justice for Nora Apique. Only monstrous cowards would brutally kill an elderly woman who did nothing but uphold farmers rights and welfare,” according to Antonio Flores of Defend Mindanao. KMP urged the Commission on Human Rights to probe the latest peasant killing.

“Nagawa pa talagang pumatay ang mga berdugo ng rehimen kahit may krisis sa kalusugan sa bansa dahil sa Covid19. We strongly condemn this attack and latest peasant killing,” Flores added.

Last March 17, young cultural activist and land reform advocate Marlon Madlos was killed in Dela Paz, Bohol by still unidentified gunmen. ###

Nagawa pa talagang pumatay ang mga berdugo ng rehimen kahit may krisis sa kalusugan sa bansa dahil sa Covid19. We strongly condemn this attack and latest peasant killing.

Nagawa pa talagang pumatay ang mga berdugo ng rehimen kahit may krisis sa kalusugan sa bansa dahil sa Covid19. We strongly condemn this attack and latest peasant killing.

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