Three indigenous members of the Higaonon ethnic group have been brutally killed by cattle rancher guards. On July 12, 2016, security personnel of Ramcar Inc. fired at members of the Sitio Inalsahan Indigenous Peoples Organization who were drinking coffe in their tent. According to survivors, at around six in the morning, 13 security guards from the Tagbagani Security Agency employed by the company allegedly surrounded the tent of the lumads put up on the land they were tilling at Sitio Inalsahan, Barangay Lupiagan, Sumilao, Bukidnon. The guards were firing at the lumads while encircling them. Remar Mayantao, a council member of the Sitio Inalsahan Indigenous People Organization, raised his arms to express submission to the guards. However, he was hit on his right abdomen, causing him to fall. A security guard went to him and slit his throat with a knife. Three other lumad farmers – one of them a 15-year old female – were wounded. The guards destroyed three of the tents before to leave the area.
Philippines: cattle ranch guards kill thee indigenous on they ancestral land
The tents were set up on the contested area that the lumad group had been claiming but was occupied by Ramcar Inc. In 2011, the Higaonon community in Brgy. Lupiagan submitted a request of recognition on they ancestral land, about 5,000 hectares. However, they found out that half of their land has been occupied by private companies, and only 2,400 hectares free, and the community applied fo this land. Meanwhile the aching company Ramcar Inc., started to fence the area. On June 11, 2014, the indigenous people set up their tents on the claimed land but they were forced undid by the security guards.
In the first week of July, Datu Makalingaw received notice that there is already a request from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to allow them to enter the lands they had claimed. They set up their tents in the claimed land and they waited for a dialogue to be facilitated by the Local Government Unit. But the ranching company sent the security and the massacre stated.
The Coalition Against Land Gabbing and the 'Higala sa Lumad' (Friends of the Lumad) Network ask you to take action and send a letter of concern to the authorities in the Philippines.