“13 years, 0 justice.”
This was the was the battle cry of the Hugpong sa Mag-uumang Bol-anon (Humabol) which continued to call for justice for its slain leader Victor Olayvar, 13 years after he was gunned down in Barangay Cantubod, Danao.
In a statement, Humabol, an affiliate of left-leaning farmers’ group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), commemorated the death anniversary of Olayvar on September 7 by sharing its account of the killing.
The group said it will continue to fight for “genuine” land reform and social justice over a decade after the death of its leader who they suspect to have been shot dead by three “state agents.”
“The state might have killed Victor, but it can never kill the struggle for genuine land reform and social justice,” Humabol said in the statement.
“Before he was murdered, Victor was constantly and openly vilified and red-tagged by the military during their barangay meetings and even in their weekly radio program. Leaflets baselessly accusing him and other progressive leaders as CPP-NPA fronts were regularly distributed all over the province. Then, numerous death threats came,” it added.
According to Humabol, the group advanced into a “strong” provincial farmers’ federation and gained victories in resolving land disputes and land distribution issues under Olayvar’s leadership.
Olayvar also led in exposing “corruption in the dam projects in Bohol and thwarting government attempts to implement anti-farmer and environmentally destructive programs such as the oil palm plantation and BT corn cultivation,” the group said.
Before his death, Olayvar was elected twice as chairperson and secretary general of Humabol and later on became Bayan’s chairperson in Bohol and vice-chairperson in Central Visayas.