"The extrajudicial killings of environmental activists Fred Trangria and Margarito Cabal prove that AFP’s claim of zero human rights violations in the first four months of 2012 is one fat lie!" Cristina Palabay, Karapatan spokesperson said. Col. Domingo Tutaan of AFP’s Human Rights Office announced that the AFP has zero human rights violation cases a few days after the killing of Cabal and Trangria.
On May 6, 2012 at 4 in the afternoon, Fred Trangria was gunned down by two unidentified motorcycle riding in tandem at Purok 2B Cabidianan, Nabunturan on his way home. Trangria, 60 years old is a Barangay Kagawad of Mainit Nabunturan, Compostela Valley and strongly opposed the Mineral Processing Zone.
Three days later, on May 9 2012 at 6:30 in the evening Margarito "Boy" J. Cabal was shot at his rented house in Purok 4-B Barangay Palma, Kibawe, Bukidnon by two unidentified riding in tandem armed men using a motorcycle without any plate number. Boy sustained three gunshot wounds in the chest and one in the upper left back of his chest which killed him instantly. According to the witness, the neighbours noticed the same motorcycle, a red STX, roaming in the vicinity several times for the past days and even in the afternoon of May 9.
Cabal, 47 years old, married with three children, is a government employee of the Local Government Unit in Kibawe, Bukidnon. He is known for his firm resistance to the establishment of Hydro-Electric Mega Dam project of First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative (FIBECO) that will affect 22 barangays of Bukidnon and North Cotabato. He was organizing the residents of the affected barangay to oppose the construction of the mega-dam. A month before the incident, Cabal was already being tailed by the Police Mobile vehicle, with the policemen directing their flashlights at Cabal’s house.
"Karapatan condemns the killing of Margarito Cabal and Fred Trangria," Palabay says. "All they did was to defend their lands from destructive projects of the government and private companies. Just because the AFP’s Human Rights Offices are not receiving complaints doesn’t mean there are zero human rights violation cases. This is nothing but an attempt to cover up the AFP’s continuing human rights violations under Oplan Bayanihan," Palabay said.
Palabay noted that the AFP’s statement came in two weeks before the Philippine government goes through the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review under the auspices of United Nations Human Rights Council. Palabay concluded that, “the AFP statement is simply a psy-war addressed to the international community and is meant to prop up its war monger image that could no longer be masked by their deceptive schemes.”