PNP probes 17 in­ci­dents of NPA atroc­ity vs lumads

Manila Bulletin - - Mindanao News -

AVAO CITY (PNA) – From sex­ual abuse of Salug­pun­gan stu­dents to the mur­der of tribal lead­ers, a team of lawyers and in­ves­ti­ga­tors from the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) is dig­ging deeper into the al­leged atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by the New Peo­ple's Army (NPA) against the Indige­nous Peo­ples (IPs) of Min­danao.

Supt. Louie Padillo of the Davao del Norte Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Of­fice (DNPPO) on Fri­day said the team was in the process of col­lat­ing all af­fi­davits of the tribal lead­ers and vic­tims in the al­leged 17 atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by the rebel group.

Padillo, who is one of the DNPPO lawyers, said the po­lice al­ready has a de­tailed list of the 17 in­ci­dents of atroc­ity.

Sr. Supt. Harry Espela, chief of the Re­gional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Divi­sion, said they were gath­er­ing more pieces of ev­i­dence to back up the state­ments of the tribal lead­ers and for­mer stu­dents of the Salug­pun­gan Ta Tanu Igkanu­gon or the Salug­pun­gan Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­ter (SCLC).

The 17 atroc­i­ties in­cluded the June 25, 1989 mas­sacre in the vil­lage of Rano, Barangay Bi­na­ton, Di­gos, Davao del Sur, where 39 church­go­ers were al­legedly mas­sa­cred by armed men be­lieved to mem­bers of the NPA.

The tribal lead­ers also cited the mur­der of Talain­god mayor Jose Libayao in Septem­ber 2001, and the killings of many other mem­bers of the cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties from 1983 to 2017.

Records ob­tained from the Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice in Re­gion 11 (Davao Re­gion) showed there are al­ready more than 300 IPs re­ported killed by the NPA from 1983 to 2007 -- most of them from Re­gion 11 (114 killed) and Re­gion 13 or Caraga Re­gion, 110.

From 2012 to 2017, the recorded killings reached 87, PRO-11 records show.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors are also look­ing into the pos­si­bil­ity of fil­ing charges against some mem­bers of the NPA who abused Salug­pun­gan stu­dents.

Dur­ing the press con­fer­ence on Fri­day at the Davao City Po­lice Of­fice, Datu Ase­nad Bago and Datu Manuel Salan­gani both claimed they were sex­u­ally abused when they were with the NPA.

The other atroc­i­ties that were listed by the tribal lead­ers are sup­plant­ing tra­di­tional lead­ers and re­plac­ing them with the mem­bers of the Com­mu­nist Party of the Philip­pines-Na­tional Demo­cratic Front (CPP-NDF), the po­lit­i­cal arm of the NPA; mak­ing the an­ces­tral do­main as NPA's guer­rilla base; col­lect­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ary taxes; set­ting up in­for­mal schools and us­ing them to rad­i­cal­ize IP chil­dren; de­ceiv­ing and ag­i­tat­ing IP lead­ers to go on "Bak­wits" from their an­ces­tral do­main to the town cen­ters and cities like in Haran in Davao City, and among oth­ers.

Datu Joel Dahusay, a Matig Talomo Manobo, said the lives of the IPs un­der the NPA was "very dif­fi­cult."

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