On July 24, 2017, Alberto Tecson, was murdered at his home by six hooded men on motorcycles. The men arrived at his place around 10:00 p.m. and called him under the pretext of renting his pump boat. When he answered the door, they shot him, dragged him outside and shot him again.
He was 45 years old and the leader of Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma ug Mangingisda sa Bulado (NaMaBu), a peasant and fishermen’s organisation in Brdy. Bulado, Guihungan City, Negros Oriental, in the Philippines.
On the day before his death, military men were looking for Alberto Tecson and accusing him of transporting armed groups from the New People’s Army (NPA) using his pump boat, which he denied. Hours before the incident, members of the military went back to his house looking for him.
Negros Island is economically and politically dominated by the owners of huge sugar cane plantations, leading to a great number of land conflicts. Aside from that, it has been the focus of the Philippine security forces’ anti-insurgency campaign against the New People’s Army for decades. In this context, workers and farmers who organise to demand their rights become targets of the security forces.
According to a report from the AMP organisation, a common practice is to fabricate charges against human rights defenders to hold them in custody for the duration of the trial. The victims of these fabricated charges are accused of participating in armed conflicts as New People’s Army (NPA) members and usually accused of crimes like murder, arson or illegal possession of explosives, for which Philippine Law only allows bail in very exceptional cases.