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Tribal leader shot dead in Mindanao

Victim was a vocal opponent of a local palm oil producer

Paborada's killing was Paborada's killing was "an attack on indigenous people"
  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • October 4, 2012
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A leader of the indigenous Higaonon tribe was murdered yesterday in  Misamis Oriental province. Witnesses say he was shot five times by two men on a motorcycle.

The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines named the victim as Gilbert Paborada, chairman of Pangalasag -- a group representing the interests of Higaonon tribespeople -- and a member of Kalumbay, an alliance of indigenous peoples in Mindanao.

Members of Pangalasag – Indigenous Shield – say Paborada had received a number of death threats in recent months for his vocal opposition to land grabbing and the expansion of palm oil plantations in the town of Opol. The members also report several instances of harassment and intimidation against them, by security guards employed by the palm oil producer.

Indigenous groups in the area have been campaigning against the expansion of palm oil plantations in their villages, claiming that the company has not secured their "free, prior and informed consent" as mandated by law.

"We believe that Paborada was killed because of his stance against the company and the plantations," said Jomorito Goaynon, leader of Kalumbay.

He described the killing as "an attack on indigenous people’s right to land and self-determination."

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Environmental activist killed in Mindanao

Land reform activist killed in Bukidnon
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