JULY 15, 2017
PRESS RELEASE
 
Reference: Eule Rico Bonganay, SALINLAHI Secretary General; +63933-290-1304
 
Child rights group denounces the indiscriminate firing against children, killing a member of a peasant org
 
Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns vehemently condemned the elements of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for indiscriminately firing at children who were at home with members of a peasant organization, Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Mabini (HuMaBin). The incident killed one of its members and wounding three others including two minors in Purok Masagana 5, Kidaraan, Barangay Anitapan, Mabini, Compostela Valley last July 13.
 
“We strongly deplore the continuing human rights violations and impunity by the elements of the 46th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army, endangering families especially their children. The AFP is using the Martial law to harass and intimidate peasant and IP communities especially the leaders of progressive organizations in Mindanao. Martial law only proves human rights situation got worse with additional police power of the AFP and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus,” said Eule Rico Bonganay, Salinlahi Secretary General.
 
According to the reports of Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region, the HuMaBin members namely Carlito Arado, 54 and Carolina Arado, 52 were at their house together with Analiza Simbahon and her children when the elements of AFP belonging to 46th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army indiscriminately fired at them. 
 
“We believe that the victims were targeted by the military due to their vocal opposition against the human rights violations committed by the military elements as well as the mining activities in the area,” Bonganay said.
 
On the other hand, Analiza Simbahon is a member of Parents Teacher and Community Association (PTCA) of Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) in Masicareg, Barangay Anitapan, Mabini and also the President of Masicareg Farmers Association. Analiza and her two children are now admitted at the hospital due to severe gunshot wounds. However, Carolina Arado did not make it to the hospital and was declared dead on arrival.
 
“The declaration of Martial law gave license to the AFP to intensify attacks against schools and communities that are actively opposing mining activities in Mindanao. These attacks have forced our Indigenous people to evacuate their ancestral land. No wonder why the AFP is celebrating the declaration of Martial law, their foreign mining masters could now enjoy plundering Mindanao’s rich natural resources at the expense of our IP communities,” Bonganay added.
 
Salinlahi, who leads the campaign against military encampment and attacks on Lumad community schools in Mindanao under the banner of Save Our Schools Network said that such cases are also recorded in Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Sultan Kudarat. “We call on the Filipino people to stand against the worsening human rights situation in Mindanao due to island-wide imposition of Martial law.” Bonganay ended.