On August 14 2016, Manobo Jessybel Sanchez was killed. Sanchez, 42, was secretary of Lumadnong Panaghiusa-Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon (LuPa-STTI), an organisation of indigenous peoples on Mindanao. She had previously received threats prior to her killing, allegedly by members of the 68th Infantry Battlion of the Philippine army(IBPA). The military unit had repeatedly asked her to appear at their camp in order to ‘clear her name’ however Sanchez – fearing for her life – declined.
On August 14, she was Sanchez was on her way home from a meeting about her community’s petition and legal battle against the logging firm Alcantara & Sons when she was shot and killed by two men on a motorbike who are believed to have been members of the IBPA.
Members of the military often label indigenous leaders like Sanchez as suspected terrorists or members of the communist New People’s Army in order to justify their murder. Gerifel Cerillo, Tanggol Bayi convenor, said “Women have been at the forefront of the people’s resistance against fascist and tyrannical regimes such as Duterte’s. With his renewed threats to crack down on progressive groups, we will remain steadfast in upholding women’s rights and human rights. We are not afraid of tyrants like Duterte,”