Baguilat calls for probe into killing of Ifugao environmentalist

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Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. is calling for an urgent investigation into the killing of Ifugao environmental activist Ricardo Mayumi and the “worsening attacks against indigenous peoples around the country.”

Mayumi was killed in Ambabag, Kiangan, Ifugao by at least two assassins on March 2. He was leader of the Ifugao Peasant Movement who had long advocated to protect the rights of fellow indigenous peoples in Ifugao.

Baguilat said that while the motive for his killing is still to be determined by the Philippine National Police, “it was becoming clear that his death had to do with his activism, as he had been vocal in his opposition to some infrastructure projects in Ifugao.”

“His case is unfortunately not an isolated one as for years, indigenous peoples have been targeted by those who want to push their own agenda even if it would mean trampling on the rights of indigenous peoples who have long been marginalized in this country,” said Baguilat.

His death adds to the growing list of indigenous peoples who have been killed, incarcerated and villified around the country, Baguilat said in House Resolution 1752.

He cited observations by various indigenous peoples organizations that under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, at least two IP members are killed every month.

“The Committee on Indigenous Peoples of the House of Representatives should be at the forefront of determining the proper implementation of laws that protect indigenous peoples rights, and to potentially file laws that will address gaps,” said the resolution.

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