MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday refuted a Britain-based watchdog's claims alleging that the Philippines is the most dangerous place for land and environmental activists.
PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the PNP takes strong exception to the labeling done by Global Witness of the country as a deadly nation for land rights.
He said land disputes have always been a perennial source of conflict among people, and this has been among several motives behind some homicides investigated by the PNP.
Let me assure that every incident of violence stemming from whatever motive is promptly investigated by the police with utmost priority, Albayalde said in a statement sent to reporters.
The reality is that the activities of the local communist movement in the countryside is also a factor in this armed conflict over land rights, and many tribal leaders, community officials and government security forces have died protecting land rights against insurgents who want to place these communities under their control, he stressed.
In its report, Global Witness said 164 land and environmental activists were killed in the country in 2018.
This number, it said, includes the nine sugarcane farmers who were gunned down in Sagay City, Negros Occidental in October last year. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency