On 27 April 2016, 32-year-old peasant activist and political campaigner Rolan Lonin Casiano was shot at the wake of a relative by fifteen soldiers from the 49th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Lower Santa Cruz village, Ragay municipality, Camarines Sur province, two weeks before the 9 May 2016 general elections.
Rolan was a coconut farmer and member of the Camarines Sur 1st District People’s Organization who was actively campaigning for Makabayan party’s – a broad coalition of progressive party-list groups – President, Neri Colmenares, a famous human rights lawyer and activist.
According to Nida Barcenas, from NGO Karapatan (Association for the Advancement of People’s Rights), “Rolan was scheduled to attend the protest action on Labor Day. He also helped in the campaigns for Neri Colmenares and for the progressive party-lists for the upcoming elections”. The NGO added that the alleged warrant of arrest against Rolan, mentioned by the army as a pretext to kill him, for an alleged participation in a raid in 2012 by gunmen from the military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, is only a cover up for committing an extra-judicial killing on human rights defender Rolan Lonin Casiano.