SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/29 October) – A staunch environment advocate was ambushed by still unidentified men at about 3:30 p.m. today while he on his way home, a police official said.
Dr. Isidro Olan, executive director of Lovers of Nature Foundation, Inc., was shot by armed men along the “scaling road” 75 meters away from his house in Barangay Puyat, Carmen, Surigao del Sur, Carmen police chief Senior Inspector Dominador Plaza said.
The scaling road is an abandoned scaling area for lumber produced by the Puyat-owned Surigao Development Corporation, a logging company based in the said town.
Olan was reportedly with his wife Olive on board their Toyota Fortuner when the attack occurred.
Chito Trillanes, Social Action Center head of secretariat for the CarCanMadCarLan zone in Surigao del Sur, in a text message said the physician-activist disembarked from his car upon seeing that several logs blocked the road towards his house. The assailants fired immediately after Olan got out of his vehicle.
Plaza said Olan was wounded in the right shoulder and was immediately rushed to the Madrid Municipal Hospital which is 20 to 30 minutes from the site of incident. He said the victim was safe.
Investigators found one empty shell each from a .45 caliber pistol and a .22 caliber pistol, and three empty shells from a shotgun.
Plaza did not discount the possibility that the incident was related to the Olan’s environment advocacy. The physician has been in the
forefront in the fight against illegal logging and mining in the said town and had received death threats for this.
“In this incident, we cannot discount that this is related to the involvement of Dr. Olan against illegal loggers (here),” the police
official said. (Vanessa Almeda/MindaNews)