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Gunmen kill another B’non farmer activist

By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
Correspondent .

ANOTHER farmer activist was shot and killed inside his house in San Fernando town in Bukidnon on Wednesday night, an act called by an organization of activists in the region as the “15th extra-judicial killing” in Bukidnon this year alone.

Police identified the victim as Leonides Bacong, 63, of Barangay Little Baguio, San Ferdando.

Chief M/Sgt. Ric Ogoy of the San Fernando police said two still unidentified men entered the victim’s house posing as visitors.

Ogoy said Bacong was with his wife and child when the assailants came.

Police said the killers had a short conversation with the victim, and then one of the suspects shot him at close range. The victim was shot to the left portion of the neck.

The victim’s wife told investigators she overheard one of the killers telling her husband that they had something to tell him as he received them inside the living room.

“When I entered the bedroom, that’s when I heard the shots,” Bacong’s wife was quoted as saying.

Ogoy said the gunmen fired three shots but only one of the bullets hit Bacong, in the neck. He did not reach the hospital alive.

“It appeared that the victim did not know the killers. Even the wife did not identify them,” Ogoy said.

In a statement, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas in Northern Mindanao said Bacong was a leader of the Bukidnon-based peasant group Kasama, the provincial chapter of the KMP.

The group said Bacong was the “15th victim of extra-judicial killing” in Bukidnon so far this year.

“Brutal attacks against activists and rights advocates continue to intensify since Martial Law was imposed in Mindanao in 2017,” KMP said.

Before Bacong’s assassination, tribal leader Leah Tumbalang was shot dead by two attackers in Valencia City, Bukidnon on Aug. 23, 2019, the group said.

Tumbalang, a member of the Tigwahanon tribe from San Fernando, was also affiliated with the Kaugalingong Sistema Igpapasindog Tu Lumadnong Ogpaan (Kasilo), a lumad and peasant organization in the province, and a Bayan Muna organizer.

“Being a Lumad leader in their community, [Tumbalang] was at the forefront in fighting for their rights to ancestral land and self-determination,” KMP said.

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