Katungod Lumad ALERT:
108 Talaandig families flee homes in Agusan Sur

On May 16, 2016, a total of 108 families from four communities in Agusan del Sur left their homes, fearing they might be the next in a series of killings perpetrated by a paramilitary group.

Known to have affiliated with the Dela Mance paramilitary group which is in turn under the bigger Alamara armed group, the Bocalas brothers (Ricky ‘Mansumhot’ Bocalas, Junilo ‘Manpalantay’ Bocalas, Lando Bocalas, Mantumagsa, and Lilongan ‘Manlumakad’ Bocalas) had already killed many Talaandig and Banwaon residents in the boundaries of Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon.

On July 6, 2015, they shot Louie and Daynon Handayan, killing Daynon. In September 2015, they killed Obet Pabiana who was on his way to visit his family. And the following month, they ambushed a group of Talaandig on their way to gather fruits in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon. Witnesses saw Manlumakad hack to death Mankombete Mariano after wounding him with a gunshot. The most recent victim of the Bocalas brothers was Datu Mansulbadan Lalian, whom they killed while he was fishing in Talacogon.

After the death of Datu Mansulbadan—who served as a Supreme Datu in their community before turning over his position to his son—earlier this month, the Lumad residents around the area had feared going to their farms, forests, or anywhere in their ancestral lands for fear that they would encounter the Bocalas brothers. The village chairperson of Insibay, Estade Manlangit, had asked for help from the municipal government of Talacogon and the local government unit (LGU) advised them to come down so they could seek support.

Presently, the evacuees have sought sanctuary in Km, 50 in Brgy. Zellovia, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur. The Talaandig families, composed of 468 individuals, come from the communities of Brgy. Binicalan in San Luis, Purok Mintusing, Tigbaw and Insibay of Brgy. Zellovia.

The local government units of Zellovia and Talacogon, and San Luis Community Lumad High School are helping the evacuees by providing rice but the supplies are not enough to feed all of the families.

The child of Datu Mansulbadan had already filed a case against the Bocalas Brothers but there is no update yet on this action. It can be recalled that cases had also been filed against the Dela Mance group and in fact, warrants of arrest had been released last year. But until now, none of the paramilitary groups terrorizing the Lumad communities in these provinces have been arrested.

EXPRESS YOUR CONCERN

to the Philippine Government by writing to:

H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

Hon. Alfredo Benjamin Sabater Caguioa
Secretary, Department of Justice
Email: info@doj.gov.ph; communications@doj.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Voice: +63(2) 911-6193, Fax:+63(2) 911-6213

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission On Human Rights
E-mail: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Telefax: 929-0102, 928-5655, 926-6188

Atty. Leonor T. Oralde-Quintayo
Chairperson, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples
Tel: 373-97-87
Email: chairpersonsoffice@gmail.com

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III
Chair, Justice and Human Rights Committee
Philippine Senate
Trunk Lines: (632) 552-6601 to 70 loc. 5548
Direct Lines: (632) 822-9758
Fax No.: (632) 822-9759
Email: kokopimenteloffice@yahoo.com

Rep. Guillermo Romarate Jr.
Chair, Human Rights Committee
House of Representatives
Tel: (632) 931-5001; local 7051, 9518974

Hon. Democrito O. Plaza
Governor, Province of Agusan del Sur
Tel. : (085) 343-7144 / 343-7136; 343-3750/ 343-3751
Fax : (085) 343-7369 / 242-3801
E-mail: mail@agusandelsur.gov.ph

Hon. Jesryl E. Masendo
Mayor, Municipality of Talacogon
Tel.: 0920-3770716

Hon. Ronaldo Y. Corvera
Mayor, Municipality of San Luis
Municipal Hall, San Luis, Agusan del Sur
Tel.: 0916-5569870

Copy furnish your letters to info@rmp-nmr.org

For more information, contact us at:

Higala sa Lumad Network
Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center for Interfaith Resources
0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde
9200 Iligan City, Philippines
T/F: +63 (63) 223 5179
E: info@rmp-nmr.org

Katungod Lumad Alert is published by the ‘Higala sa Lumad’ [Friends of the Lumad] Network.

‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network is a support group composed of a broad range of interfaith personalities/representative of organizations synergizing relevant capacities and resources for Lumad communities under attack. ‘Higala’ also serves as an informal monitoring network for Lumad human rights. ‘Higala’ has been established as a component of the ‘Healing the Hurt’ Project.