The death toll is from the time Arroyo became president. Her administration has been criticised not only for the deaths of environmentalists but for the deaths of many human rights and social activists as well, often it would seem with involvement of the AFP or national police who often blame communists for the deaths even when they are deaths of activists who are part of legal communist "front" organisations.
The company description might be correct but I wouldn't count on it. At least this one can't be pinned on the AFP or national police but blaming the victims is a reasonably common thread in official explanation of killings.
This is from the Manila Times.
23 environmental advocates killed so far
Fatal shooting of councilor blamed on demonstrators
Antimining protesters in Romblon province started the violence that led to the fatal shooting of an activist, the company involved in the incident said here Saturday.
Jose Miguel Cabarrus, president of Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Co. (SNPDC), told reporters that Arman Marin, 42, a municipal councilor was killed only after he tried to seize the gun of a company security guard on Wednesday during a protest on the island of Sibuyan.
Local environmental groups have seized upon Marin’s death as a rallying point, accusing the guard of gunning him down during a peaceful protest.
But Cabarrus said Marin and about a hundred protesters had caused the violence as they were picketing another mining company, Filipinas Top Rock Mines.
“We’re already been crucified as the bad guys,” he said, complaining that no one had tried to get their side of the story.
“Our people were not the aggressors. They were not the instigators either. Rather they were the victims,” he added.
Cabarrus said a jeep carrying the guard and three Sibuyan Nickel employees were passing by when the protesters confronted them.
When they tried to turn back, the demonstrators mobbed the vehicle and Marin tried to grab the guard’s gun, causing it to go off and hitting him.
Cabarrus said protesters also beat one of the employees, detaining her until police arrived.
The security guard surrendered himself to police, said Cabarrus, adding that they were gathering information for possible legal action against the protesters.
He also showed a police report indicating that the protesters had fired at the jeep.
Cabarrus added the company was not connected to Filipinas Top Rock, the target of the protests, and that their mining claim was far from the scene of the rally.
Reports said Marin was an activist even before he was elected to the municipal council.
“Kalikasan PNE condemns in the strongest terms the killing of Councilor Marin and demands immediate and complete justice for his death,” Kalikasan PNE national coordinator Clemente Bautista said in a statement.
The group identified Marin as the 23rd environmental advocate to be killed under the Arroyo administration, and the 20th to be killed in relation to large-scale mining projects by the government.
“Kalikasan PNE is alarmed at this continuing bloodletting of antimining advocates and defenders of national patrimony under the current administration. The killings are sure to continue if the Arroyo administration insists on pursuing these large-scale mining projects,” Bautista said.
The Romblon Nickel Project is being operated by Australian mining firm Pelican Resources Ltd. (PRL) through its subsidiary Sunshine Gold Pty, in partnership with SNPDC.
“We reiterate the demand that the mining project by SNPDC in Sibuyan be pulled out for causing these human-rights violations against community leaders. We demand that the DENR scrap all plans of approving the main Mineral Production and Sharing Agreement mining permit being sought by Pelican for the site,” Bautista said.