BUKIDNON, Philippines – Farmers who were injured in an altercation with security guards of Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Maramag, Bukidnon have filed charges of frustrated murder.
The farmers were conducting a protest rally outside the school when the guards opened fire.
The injured were identified as:
· Jose Benemirito, 52
· Gregorio Santillani, 36
· Abelardo Jardin, 67
· Marilou Portin, 51
· Larry Divera, 35
· Winnie Loable, 36
Two of them are currently being treated for gunshot wounds.
Three security guards were arrested but were subsequently released as police have yet to determine the identity of the gunmen.
The farmers staged protests beginning May 23 in connection with a 400-hectare land owned by CMU.
In 2002, both parties signed a contract stating that the land will be rented by the farmers for 5 years. When the contract expired in 2007, the farmers refused to leave without CMU providing a relocation site.
However, CMU said it is not stated in the contract that it is their obligation to provide a relocation site for the farmers.
CMU said it is open to talks of extending the contract, with the condition that CMU will not be responsible for the farmers’ relocation site. -- Report from Rod Bolivar, ABS-CBN News Northern Mindanao