TO describe Mayor Joel Brillantes of Monkayo, Compostella Valley, as controversial is to make an understatement.As the owner of the JB Management Mining Corp. before he became mayor of Monkayo in 2001, he enforced environmental policies covering Mount Diwalwal that angered big mining companies.
The companies apparently felt he
was depriving them of the privilege he
had enjoyed before he
entered politics: big money at the expense of a ravaged environment.
In an interview with a local publication a year before he
was murdered, Brillantes
said that by issuing a cease-and-desist order he
felt that he
was able to deal with illegal mining, pollution and the destruction of irrigated lands.
On December 21, 2001, he
carried out Municipal Order 96-05 closing gold-processing plants in Diwalwal after he
learned that some miners had left 60,000 tons of mine tailings on top of the mountain.
The order angered miners, whose tunnels were closed down, but was welcomed by Monkayo
farmers who had protested the pollution of the Naboc River, a vital source of water for the community.
Brillantes also rankled the New People's Army's Merardo Arce Command when he
exposed its extortion of Diwalwal miners.He
also made political enemies with whom he
had heated exchanges over the issues concerning Mount Diwalwal.
After Brillantes's assassination, the Davao City Police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-11 were swamped with motives: politics, the NPA threat, personal grudge and Mount Diwalwal.
Investigators tried to link Dejito
to the NPA
, but the communist rebels denied they had Brillantes
...Brillantes was known to have had a running feud with Barangay Mount Diwata Chair Franco Tito, in which the two traded charges and countercharges.
A break came when the assassin's wife, Fedelina, surfaced and recounted the moments before her
husband killed Brillantes
and was himself felled by bullets.
The next morning Fedelina learned that her
husband had killed Brillantes
and that he
himself was killed by unidentified assailants.
City Prosecutor's Office disagreed and charged Engroba only with conspiracy to murder Brillantes
On January 31, 2005, President Arroyo ordered the inclusion of Jose Nelson "Tata" Sala and his brother, Edgar, on the most wanted list of criminals as the suspected masterminds behind the killing of Brillantes