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Members of peasant organizations murdered in 2017, Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines

Two farmer leaders killed in 2017, Lito Casalla and Engracio de los Reyes, were at the forefront of the long opposition to Ramon Ang‘s landgrabbing for limestone for cement by his company Asturias Chemical Industry.


During the first 13 months of President Duterte’s government, 58 out of the 98 victims of extrajudicial killings were human rights defenders, 94 are facing trumped up charges and are imprisoned and a total of 435 political prisoners remain in jail. Most at risk of these attacks are peasant leaders, indigenous peoples and environmental activists. Of the 98 victims of extrajudicial killings, 91 were leaders and members of peasant organizations opposing mining and resource extraction projects in defense of their land and the environment.[4]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Members of peasant organizations murdered in 2017, Calatagan, Batangas, Philippines
State or province:Batangas
Location of conflict:Calatagan
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Asturias Chemical Industries has a Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau which gave the company license to exploit over 808 hectares of the land for its limestone. The groups said the MPSA was issued covering the disputed area despite the peasants already having an “Emancipation Patent” over these lands.(2)

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Project area:2636
Start of the conflict:1995
Company names or state enterprises:Asturias Chemical Industries from Philippines
Relevant government actors:Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
Army of the Philippines
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment
Samahan ng Magbubukid sa Batangas (SAMBAT)
Samahan ng Maliliiit na Mangingisda at Magsasaka sa Calatagan (SMMMC).
Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Baha at Talibayog (SMMBT).
KARAPATAN Human Rights
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Collective fencing of land against the Asturias Chemical Industries
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Court decision (undecided)
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Powerful chemical and cement industrial interests in alliance with Duterte's government, against local peasant movement. Killing of environmental leaders.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] Davao Today, Green group hits crackdown vs environmental defenders in Batangas. Oct. 20, 2017 MART D. SAMBALUD
[click to view]

[3]Ramon Ang and SMC ravage Batangas
[click to view]

[4] KARAPATAN Human Rights Update. Canada-based orgs call on Trudeau to speak out for at-risk human rights defenders in PH
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[5] Calatagan farmers start fencing land vs mining firm

July 6, 2008
[click to view]

[6] Calatagan farmers up in arms vs cement firm over property. July 2, 2008
[click to view]

[7] Calatagan farmers resume march to Malacanang for land. December 1, 2008
[click to view]

[1] Kalikasan's description of the events
[click to view]

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Last update18/08/2019
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