An “Urgent Alert” from the southern Mindanao bureau of the human rights NGO Karapatan at the weekend reported that Apolonio Maranan, 64, a resident of DDF Village, Barangay Mandug, Buhangin District Davao City and member of ANAKPAWIS partylist, was shot dead by gunmen on Saturday, November 25, 2017.
According to Maranan’s wife, at around 7:49 p.m. Apolonio decided to leave the house to buy food for their dinner. Five minutes after her husband left, she heard gunfire. She asked her son to check on Apolonio outside.
Later they found Apolonio drenched in blood, lifeless.
Apolonio was an active member of Anakpawis Partylist and a local campaigner of Congressman Ariel Casilao during the 2016 national elections.
In a separate development, on Sunday at around 1 p.m., November 26, residents from 12 Lumad communities in Brgy. Diatagon, Lianga and Brgy. Buhisan, San Agustin, in Surigao del Sur started evacuating due to military operations, according to another Karapatan dispatch.
At least 706 students and 51 teachers of nine Lumad schools are reportedly displaced.
Last November 23, it was reported that three truckloads of soldiers arrived at Km. 6 Neptune, where they set up a checkpoint, requiring all those who pass through to write their names in a logbook.
On Friday, November 25, soldiers were seen on the way to Sitios Km. 16 and Han-ayan. A drone was also seen flying over the communities.
Villagers in the area, including students and teachers from Lumad schools, have in the past been affected by military operations. As a consequence, forcible evacuation during the Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino and the current Duterte regime have occurred.
On September 1, 2015, two Lumad leaders and a school executive of ALCADEV (Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development), a non-formal high school built for the Manobo youth, were murdered by suspected paramilitary groups assisting soldiers in their operations in the communities.
The school was built through the effort of lumad organization called MAPASU (Persevering Struggle for the Next Generation), which was well known in the region for its stance against intrusion of mining companies in their communities within the coal, copper and gold rich Andap Valley Complex.
Human rights advocates have reported that military operations have become a fixture in the area since 2005, when the area was opened for mining.