Brother of anti-mining tribal leader slain

Edwin G. Espejo

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The brother of Blaan tribal leader Daguil Cafeon is killed, 3 months after his wife and sons died in an encounter

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – The brother of fugitive Blaan tribal leader Daguil Cafeon was slain in an alleged encounter with soldiers in the remote village of Kimlawis in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur Tuesday morning, January 29.

Killed was Kitari Cafeon who, according to the military, was hit in the hip and rushed to the Allah Valley Hospital in Koronadal City but died several hours later.

Army Capt. William Alfred Rodriguez, spokesman of the 1002nd Brigade based in Sarangani province, said a squad of soldiers from Task Force Kitako led by Sgt Edwin Olpoc was conducting foot patrol when it was reportedly fired upon by the armed tribal group led by Daguil Cafeon.

After a brief encounter, Cafeon and his group reportedly withdrew, leaving behind Kitari.

The Cafeon (not Capion as previously reported) brothers and their group have been called bandits by the military.

In October 2012, Cafeon’s wife Juvy was killed together with his son and his wife’s son by first marriage when a platoon of soldiers strafed their house in nearby Sitio Datal-Alyong, also in Kimlawis, during an early morning raid.

Cafeon was unharmed because he had opted to sleep the night before in a nearby farm.

The military then claimed the killing was a result of an encounter but human rights groups called it a massacre.

Cafeon himself had told media there was no exchange of gunfire as he was some 200 meters away from their house when the soldiers fired at his wife and children.

Following protests, the military investigated its men and put them under court martial.


The Cafeon brothers are wanted for a string of ambuscades that left at least 6 people dead, most of them security guards, drill contractors and consultants of Sagittarius Mines Inc.. Several arrest warrants have been issued against them and their group.

Cafeon and several Blaan residents Bong Mal, Tampakan town of South Cotabato took arms to protest the ongoing mining operations of SMI in their area.

Daguil Cafeon is accusing SMI of encroaching into their ancestral domain.

Cafeon’s two other brothers have also joined him and are likewise wanted by the government. –

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