Indigenous leader and village chief killed by paramilitary in Bukidnon, Mindanao, southern Philippines

Urgent Action Alerts

UA No: 2012-03-01


37 years old, married with 5 children,
Vice chair of the indigenous peoples’ group KASILO Lumad,
belonging to the Matigsalog tribe, Barangay (village) chair of Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon

Place of Incident : Purok 2, Dao, San Fernando Bukidnon

Date of Incident : March 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Suspected Perpetrators :

ALDE SALUSAD a.k.a. Butsoy,Member of TRIOM Force together with 15 armed men suspected to be members of the TRIOM Force
NONONG SALUSAD, Father of Alde Salusad, and a rebel returnee who is associated with the 8th IB under the command of Lt. Fallar

All three are barangay council members of Dao village

Account of the Incident

Jimmy M. Liguyon, a leader of indigenous people in Bukidnon who steadfastly protected his village from the intrusion of destructive mining activities and bio-fuel plantations, is the latest victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration.

On March 5, 2012 at about 6:30 in the evening, Liguyon, who was also the barangay (village) chair of Dao, San Fernando, Bukidnon was shot dead inside his residence by paramilitary man Alde Salusad a.k.a. Butsoy, using an Armalite rifle. Salusad is a member of the paramilitary group TRIOM Force reportedly created by Vice Mayor Levy Edma and backed by Lt. Fallar of 8th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army based at Halapitan, San Fernando Bukidnon.

Emelio and Arser Liguyon, brothers of the victim, narrated that at about 5:30 in the afternoon, they went to Jimmy’s house to borrow money and rice for family consumption as well as for supplies for their livelihood.

Emelio and Aser recounted that they were talking with Jimmy at the terrace of his house when Salusad arrived accompanied by 15 armed men in military fatigue uniform. Salusad walked in without giving courtesy.

When Salusad was about one meter away from Jimmy, he asked the victim about the presence of the military in the area. Jimmy replied that he did not notice soldiers roving the area. Salusad then ordered Jimmy to transfer to the opposite bench. Jimmy obeyed and stood up. Salusad pretended to offer his hand to shake Jimmy’s, then, without a word, shot him with his baby armalite rifle, hitting the latter in the chest which instantly killed him.

Terrified by the incident, Emelio and Aser ran in separate direction, leaving Jimmy behind.

Witnesses disclosed that they heard Salusad saying: “Akong gipatay si kapitan tungod kay wala kini mipirma sa SANMATRIDA o wala mohatag og certification sa SANMATRIDA *(I killed the captain [village chief] because he wouldn’t sign the SANMATRIDA and refused to give certification to SANMATRIDA).” Salusad also warned the people that whoever complains and fights back, especially the Liguyon siblings, will also be killed.

The SANMATRIDA, or the San Fernando Tribal Datus Association is a group of Lumads that acquired from the government a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) over 52,000 hectares of land in several villages in San Fernando, Bukidnon, including Dao. The  SANMATRIDA Multi-purpose Cooperative, chaired by retired military official Herman Cris P. Estrella, has been enticing mining investors into their domain. The tribal datu of Barangay Dao under the SANMATRIDA is Alde’s uncle, Datu ‘Manayab’ Carillo Salusad.

Jimmy strongly resisted the entry of large scale mining companies in his village, where the main source of income is small-scale mining. His stand against the entry of mining companies in his village made him a target of SANMATRIDA and its armed force led by Ben Salusad aka Nonong, who is also Alde’s father.

In October 2011, Jimmy reported a series of harassment and attempts on his life, particularly by Nonong Salusad, who is associated with the Phil. Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion, and from the paramilitary group TRIOM Force.

On October 13, 2011, Ben Salusad called Jimmy, and threatened that should he go back to Dao, they would kill him. On October 16, Angge Dal-anay, another leader of TRIOM Force, went with his group to Jimmy’s house, but the Liguyon family moved out of Dao after Salusad’s threats.

On October 28, 2011, Jimmy and his wife were coming home from a human rights’ day rally in Cagayan de Oro City, when they were stopped by armed men led by Dal-anay who marched them to a vacant house. Dal-anay told Jimmy to stop joining rallies, and that he should allow mining in Barangay Dao. Jimmy was steadfast in his anti-mining position, arguing that the people in Barangay Dao did not want it and he, and neither did he, as village chief.

Jimmy also reported that SANMATRIDA convinced him and everyone else to join their organization. He also reported receiving information that Barangay Kagawad (village council members) Merlyn Isidro, Medy Mancilla and Fausto Bacliran were allegedly planning to kill him through the armed men of Nonong Salusad.

It was learned that the three barangay kagawad were the local buyers of gold in the area through their financier from Davao City and Valencia City. It was observed that the three were encouraging large scale mining companies to operate in their locality.

As reported by Karapatan-Northern Mindanao Region, with data from the KALUMBAY Urgent Alert entitled “IMPUNITY NO LET-UP: Another indigenous leader killed in San Fernando, Bukidnon, Philippines”<>

Recommended Action:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for/on:

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the extrajudicial killing of Jimmy Liguyon.

2. The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and
“enemies of the state.”

3. The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians.

4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

5. The dismantling of all paramilitary groups and private armies

6. The Philippine government to ensure the protection of the survivors and their family members

7. The Philippine government to indemnify the victims and their families

You may send your communications to:

H. E. Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
2/F Bonifacio Hall, Malacañang, Manila
Tel: 733-3010 loc 882/ 887
Website: <>

Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
7/F Agustin I Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel: 6360701 to 06 / 637-6083
Fax: 638-2216
Email: [email protected]

Secretary Leila M. de Lima
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Main Building, Padre Faura Street, Manila
Tel: 521-1908
Fax: 523-5548
Email: [email protected]

Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin
Department of National Defense (DND)
DND Building, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
Tel: 911-6193 / 911-1746
Fax 911-6213

Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: <[email protected]>[email protected],
[email protected]


Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by: KARAPATAN,  <[email protected]>

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