From: SOS Mindanao <email@example.com>
Below is an article of another attack on Indigenous Peoples in Mindanao by militiamen. They allegedly murdered the head of a tribal school, the chairman of a lumad organization and one other person in Lianga town, Surigao del Sur early Tuesday morning at around 4am.
This is the first case of extra-judicial killings and one of the gravest violations ever committed against IP schools and volunteers following the arrest of one para-teacher in Northern Mindanao Region and the threat and harassment faced by staffs of STTICLC in SMR, CLANS in Sarangani Province and MISFI in Compostella Valley.
We condemn these brutal and vicious acts of the
36th Infantry Battalion and Special Forces Regiment
and the paramilitary group Magahat!
We strongly condemn the continuous human rights violations and killing to indigenous peoples, human rights defenders and advocates.
STOP THE KILLINGS NOW!
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Head of tribal school, lumad leader slain by militia in Surigao del Sur
September 1, 2015 11:22 AM
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE – 1:15 p.m.) In what may be the worst in a series of recent attacks on indigenous people in Mindanao, militiamen allegedly murdered the head of a tribal school, the chairman of a lumad organization and one other person in Lianga town, Surigao del Sur early Tuesday morning.
Josephine Pagalan, spokesperson of the Kahugpungn sa mga Lumad-Caraga or KASALU, a regional federation of indigenous people’s organizations, told InterAksyon.com by phone that Jionel Campos, chairman of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang Sa Sumusunod or MAPASU, and his cousin Aurelio Sinzo, were executed at KM16, Han-ayan, Barangay Diatagon in front of hundreds of residents of at least six sitios who had been ordered out of their homes by gunmen of the Magahat militia around 4 a.m.
The executions were also witnessed by teachers and students of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development or ALCADEV, who had been roused from their dormitories at the school and ordered to join the residents at KM16.
When the militia withdrew after killing the two, the teachers and students returned to the ALCADEV compound to find the school’s executive director, Emerito Samarca, who had been ordered to stay behind, dead in a room, his throat slit and stabbed in the stomach, his hands and feet bound with rope.
The school had just celebrated its 11th founding anniversary. Samarca had also attended the International People’s Conference on Mining held in Metro Manila from July 30 to August 1.
Pagalan, who was having the incident recorded at the Lianga police station when interviewed, told InterAksyon.com that troops of the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion and Special Forces Regiment had arrived in Diatagon on August 30, occupying their villages and the school.
The Magahat, she said, followed early Tuesday morning and immediately “kicked the doors of houses, ordering the people out and telling them to gather at KM16.”
Pagalan said she herself had been staying with a daughter at KM16 who had just given birth.
When the residents had gathered there, she said, the militiamen “ordered us to stop supporting the NPA (New People’s Army) if we did not want to die.”
Campos was then ordered to sit down outside her daughter’s store where “he was shot in the head,” followed by Sinzo. “Silang tanan nagpaputok (They all fired their guns),” Pagalan said.
She said the Magahat then “warned us to leave our place within two days or we would be killed when they returned” before withdrawing.
Pagalan said the residents of Diatagon have agreed to flee and head to the provincial capital, Tandag City, to seek help from the government.
This would be the second mass evacuation of residents from the lumad communities of Diatagon since last October when some 1,800 Manobo fled their homes after the murder of MAPASU council member Henry Sarsona Alameda, who was executed in front of his family allegedly by soldiers and militiamen, and Aldren Dumaguit.
The murder of Samarca, Campos and Sinzo happens on the heels of the reported evacuation of more than 300 lumad families in San Miguel, also in Surigao del Sur after Bagani gunmen allegedly killedbrothers Crisanto and Ellie Tabogol in their home the evening of August 28.
Benedictine nun Stella Matutina, who is slated to receive a human rights award from Weimar, Germany for her work with indigenous people and peasant communities in Mindanao, said the San Miguel evacuation had brought the number of internally displaced families in San Miguel to 480 following the earlier evacuation of 45 Manobo families from another village.
The Surigao del Sur incidents are the most recent human rights violations against lumad in Mindanao allegedly committed by state security forces and paramilitary groups associated with them that followed the controversy surrounding last month’s attempt to force hundreds of Manobo refugees out of a church compound in Davao City where they have sought refuge and back to their villages.
Among the other incidents are the alleged massacre of five Manobo clansmen, including a blind 72-year old and his 14-year old grandson, in Pangantucan, Bukidnon; the arrest in Gingoog City of two Manobo brothers, including a former volunteer teacher of a tribal school; and the arrest of 14 persons, including officials of lumad and farmers’ groups and a 12-year old boy, in Kitao-tao, Bukidnon.
ALCADEV is one of several schools set up by nongovernmental and religious organizations in lumadcommunities where educations opportunities used to be non-existent. However, these schools have openly been accused by the military of advocating support for communist rebels.
Late last year and early this year, teachers and students from the tribal schools, including ALCADEV, went to Metro Manila to seek national government help to stop the occupation of the learning centers by soldiers and militiamen and attempts to shut them down.
Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders