Victim accuses Kapalong LGU officials, military behind attempted slay

Oct. 01, 2014

TAGUM CITY—Dexter Ian Selebrado, 29, a peasant organizer, who was shot and wounded Monday afternoon after he attended the provincial-wide launching of People’s Initiative against pork barrel system in this city, tagged military agents and some local government officials to be the persons behind the said murder attempt.

In an exclusive interview with Davao Today Tuesday, Selebrado said he suspected “the government forces under 60th Infantry Battalion with some local government officials of Kapalong conniving with the military to silence people helping the Lumads in Kapalong.”

“I can categorically state that I don’t’ have any enemies nor hurt anybody. Who else could have the ulterior motive to kill activists? Isn’t it the military?” he said.

Selebrado while onboard a motorcycle together with two other companions was shot by unindentified motorcycle-riding gunmen at 3rd Avenue near the Fatima parish in Tagum Monday afternoon.

He sustained gunshot wounds at his nape and lower hips and is now recovering from an operation.

Selebrado said that since last year he has been working closely with lumad leaders and peasants to establish Karadyawan—a people’s organization composed of lumads and peasants in Kapalong—affiliated to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

“My active participation in organizing lumads and peasants in Kapalong under Karadyawan may have been the motive behind this failed attempt to kill me,” Selebrado said.

“The lumad and peasant leaders of Karadyawan have sought our help to facilitate their needs.”

Selebrado also disclosed to Davao Today that prior to Monday’s slay try there were already series of surveillances by suspicious men but apparently he just ignored it.

“Once in a carinderia, while eating alone, a man suddenly sat beside me and asked for my whereabouts,” he said.

“I worry now for the security of my fellow organizers. I don’t want them to suffer the same fate as I did,” Selebrado said.

Yesterday, the commander of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army has already denied the allegations hurled by a human rights group.

In a text message sent to Davao Today Monday Major General Eduardo Ano clarified that they “equally condemn this act, and whoever the perpetrator of this should be apprehended and made to answer for the crime.”

Tagum police authorities are still establishing the motive as of Tuesday.

Chief Investigator Janet Tirador said “we have yet to coordinate with the victim since he is still recuperating from the operation.”

When asked as to what could be the motive of the incident, Tirador said “probably revenge or personal grudge but other possible angle should not be discounted.”

Davao Today sought for the reaction of Kapalong Municipal Mayor Edgardo Timbol. As of press time the mayor has not yet issued a statement on the matter. (

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