Tandag City, Surigao del Sur – The army units in Surigao del Sur under 402nd Infantry (Stingers) Brigade strongly condemn the murder of a non-lumad by an unidentified armed group at Purok-5, Sitio Haguimitan, Brgy, Bolhoon, San Miguel, Surigao Del Sur, dawn of November 12, 2015.
At around 4:30 o’clock in the morning,burst of high-powered firearms were heard by the residents of So Haguimitan. Found later was a slain body of a 53-year old Orlando ARaboca with multiple gunshot wounds just outside his residence. The victim was identified as the president of “Haguimitan Water System Association. Initial report from San Miguel Police Station revealed that Mr Raboca was forcibly taken by an estimated 30 armed men before he was murdered.
Moreover, the investigation team of the PNP recovered 24 fired cartridges of M16 rifle and five fired cartridges of M14 rifles and open letters claiming themselves as Magahat and urging the community not to support the NPA.The crime scene is a remote indigenous community of Brgy Bolhoon with more than 20 kilometer distance from the municipal center. It is populated by 47 families with 207 individuals with mixed Manobo, Bisaya, Ilongo and Ilocano tribal affiliation.
Raboca’s families of five were not lumads of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. Mr Raboca belongs to a Mandaya tribe from Brgy Talisay, Gov Generoso, Davao Oriental while his wife is from Marilog District, Davao City. He is not a member of an indigenous Manobo tribe in Surigao del Sur.
According to the concerned populace, at around nine o’clock of 12th of November 2015, approximately 60 armed menbelieved to be NPA came across the forested area of Anasagon, Purok-10, Brgy Bolhoon, San Miguel, SDS which is about three kilometers away from the crime scene. They were seen carrying M16, M14 and AK47 riflesand clad in black sweatshirt, assorted pants and rubber boots. Some of them were wearing camouflage uniforms.The armed group ordered them to kneel down and bowdown their heads, then took away the SIM card of their cellular phone.
Meanwhile, the KARAPATAN and other left-leaning organizations had piloted the conduct of disinformation to the public on the killing incident. In a statement excerpt from Gold Star Daily dated November 14, 2015, “This time, the group allegedly killed 23-year old lumad Orlando Rabuca, married and resident of Sitio Hagimitan, Barangay Bulho-on, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur early dawn of Nov. 12”.This information exhibits significant discrepancy about the victim that clearly manipulates public perceptions for disinformation and media mileage favoring left-leaning organizations.
On one hand, the 402nd Brigade propelled its2nd Special Forces Battalion under Lt Colonel Panopio with the PNP’s Provincial Public Safety Company to respond the incident and initiate joint law enforcement operations towards the possible withdrawal area of the perpetrators. A platoon of troops was also deployed in the vicinity of So Haguimitan to track down the armed group and help the PNP in its investigation.
On the other hand, Colonel Isidro L Purisima, the Commander of 402nd Brigade, instructed Lt Colonel Panopio, to closely coordinate with the Local Chief Executive and PNP units in the municipality of San Miguel, Surigao del Sur. He further emphasized that “the CPP-NPA and the left-leaning organizations are dying to link the army to the Magahat group”, we don’t have any knowledge on what Magahat Regional Command. We fully support the PNP law enforcement efforts to disarm and apprehend the culprits. We all want justice” he added.
“We are investigating the angle that the NPAs killed the Lumad since there were witnesses. But the other angle on Magahat is also being investigated since the perpetrators left a note with Magahat on it. However, killers won’t leave behind incriminating documents. Hence, we doubt the authenticity.” Col Purisima concluded.