From InterAksyon (Sep 7): Party-list reps seek probe of Lumad killings
The authors of proposed House Resolution No. 2358 on Extra-judicial Killings in Alcadev Lumad School, Surigao del Sur are seen after its filing: (from left), Party-list Rep. Fernando "Ka Pando" Hicap of Anakpawis, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) National Coordinator Sr. Francis AÃ±over, and Reps. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, Antonio Tinio of ACT and Luz Ilagan of Gabriela Women's Party.
Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc have called on the committee on human rights at the House of Representatives to investigate the killing of a head of a DepEd-awarded tribal school and a lumad leader and his cousin in Surigao del Sur, stressing the need to give justice to the victims.
House Resolution No. 2358 said there was also need to look into and put a stop to the "escalating killings and massive militarization in the entire island of Mindanao."
The resolution was filed by party-list Representatives Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis, Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela, Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, Antonio Tinio of ACT Teachers and Terry Ridon of Kabataan.
The investigation will center on the "extra-judicial killings" of Emerito Samarca, executive director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development or ALCADEV; Dionel Campos, chairman of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang Sa Sumusunod or MAPASU, and his cousin Bello Sinzo, who were executed at KM16, Han-ayan, Barangay Diatagon in front of hundreds of residents of at least six sitios who were earlier ordered out of their homes by gunmen of the Magahat militia around 4 a.m. of September 1.
ALCADEV was among the lumad-initiated schools that the military had earlier tagged as being "used" by communist rebels, according to reports. However, defenders pf the school noted it was, in fact, awarded by the Department of Education as a showcase for championing alternative learning systems.
The deaths of Samarca and the two others came just days after the summary killings of five other indigenous community members in Bukidnon, sending concern across the human-rights sector whether or not the government was abetting "ethnocide."
Quoting the human rights group Karapatan, the House resolution filed Monday said the Magahat-Bagani Force, formerly known as Marcos Bocales Task Force Gantangan during the Oplan Bantay Laya - implemented by the Arroyo administration - was being armed by the military to sow division and terror among the Manobo-Lumad.
In 2014, the group was said to be responsible for the killing of Henry Alameda and Aldren Dumaguit; the burning of the vehicle of the Kahugpungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Surigao del Sur; and the razing of the cooperative store and school in Kabulohan, Barangay Buhisan, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur.
[See attached HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 2358 FILED BY THE MAKABAYAN BLOC]