HOLDS STATE FORCES ACCOUNTABLE FOR ATTACKS VS MINORITIES
The National Federation of Peasant Women (Amihan) condemned the massacre of 9 Moro farmers, including 2 minors, in Kabacan, North Cotabato on August 29.
In a statement, Amihan said they also blame they blame government troops for the incident even as they hold government forces accountable for all attacks against the national minorities.
The farmers were ordered to stop and get off their motorcycles by the suspects along Aringay Road inside the University of Southern Mindanao campus when they were fired at. 32 empty shells from different high-powered firearms were found on site.
The Commission on Human Rights Region 12 (CHR-12) eyed a possible angle that police forces were involved in the killing based on the dying declaration of one of the victims.
The victims were identified as Nasurdin Kalilangan, 41, and Romeo Balatamay Pioto, 38, both from Brgy. Aringay in Kabacan; Sandigan Zailon, 46, of Brgy. Osias, Kabacan; Zaiden Musaed, 21, of Brgy. Basagen, Aleosan; Datu Fahad Dimanalao Mandigan, 24, of Sitio Abpa, Brgy. Kayaga, Kabacan; Budsal Lipusan, of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao; Benladin Dimanalao, 19, of Brgy. Pedtad, Kabacan; Esmael Pagayon, 17, and Nasher Guiaman, 16 or 17 years old, both from Brgy. Buluan, Kabacan.
The Kabacan Massacre took place 3 days after the attack on Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) Academy campus in Bukidnon by the paramilitary group ‘Bagani’ and 6 days after the killing of Manobo leader Merlin Ansabu Celis in Magpet, Cotabato by unidentified assailants.
September 1 also marked the fifth anniversary of the Lianga Massacre where justice is yet to be served. Lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Datu Juvello Sinzo and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural Development (ALCADEV) executive director Emerito Samarca, were brutally killed by paramilitary group ‘Magahat-Bagani’ in front of ALCADEV students.
On August 21, a total of 659 families evacuated due to repeated bombings of Aeta communities in Sitio Lumibao, San Marcelino, Zambales. Witi Ramos, Jepoy Ramos, and Nalin Ramos were physically assaulted, tortured and detained by soldiers of the 7th IDPA. Nalin was reportedly forced to eat one of the soldier’s feces.
After the incident, the victims were traumatized and were afraid to go home.
Residents of the community said that the military operations is meant to drive them away and pave way for the mining exploration of Dizon Copper-Silver Mines, Inc. which they oppose as it will lead to the destruction of the environment and their ancestral lands.
“We condemn the intensifying series of attacks of state forces against national minorities. Ipinakikita nito ang mersenaryong tradisyon ng mga armadong pwersa ng gobyerno para lamang protektahan ang interes ng mga malalaking kompanya at mga burukrata kapitalista,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.
“We demand for an independent and thorough probe to ensure that all the perpetrators are held accountable for their brutal crimes and for all the victims to attain justice. We demand for the immediate pull-out of military troops in rural communities and the dismantling of paramilitary groups,” Soriano said.
“It is enraging that these atrocities continue despite the ongoing pandemic. Malinaw na wala ni katiting na intensyon ang gobyernong Duterte na unahin ang pagtugon sa epekto ng COVID-19 sa kabuhayan at kalusugan ng mamamayan. Prayoridad nito ang maghasik ng takot at terorismo laban sa mamamayan upang pagsilbihan ang mga kaibigan nitong oligarko at manatili sa pwesto sa gitna ang lumalawak na galit at diskontento ng mamamayan sa palpak nitong pamumuno,”Soriano added. (PR)