Makilala, Cotabato – It has been 31 years since heavily armed members of the Communist Terrorists Group broke into a chapel at Barangay Binaton in Digos City and launched a bloody attack that left 38 Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe members dead.
To mark the anniversary of the 1989 Rano Massacre, the victims were remembered and given tribute in symbolic rites on Thursday, June 25. A memorial marker made by stone tablet etched the names of the 38 victims, mostly children and women.
High ranking officials from the different agencies attended the said commemoration. PCOO, USEC Lorraine Badoy, NCIP Representatives, DSWD XI Regional Director Grace Subong, Philippine Information Agency Representatives, Digos City LGU represented by Vice-Mayor Johari Baña, 1002nd Brigade Commander Col Potenciano Camba, Davao Del Sur Provincial Police Director PCol Alberto Lupaz, 39th Infantry Battalion Commander LTC Geoffrey Carandang, Digos City Chief of Police PLTC Tababa, Digos City IPMR Datu Ernesto Salaysay, barangay officials of Barangay Binaton and Barangay Kapatagan all gathered in the said activity. The commemoration brought together various government offices as they continue to employ the Whole of Nation Approach to commemorate with the survivors and relatives.
More than three decades after, survivors shared how they survived and moved on from the traumatic experience.
Helen Dominguez shared that the incident was the most painful as she also lost five members of her family including her pastor husband whose head was severed.
She said she was able to hide from the bushes with her four-year old child and prayed hard to be spared from harm. “I’m thankful to God that I’m still alive, standing in front of you,” Dominguez said.
PCOO, USec Badoy stated in her solidarity message that the injustice came about because of the treachery of terrorists in our midst hiding behind the lies and deceit using the innocent as shields as they pursue the destruction of all that we hold sacred.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the President had the Rano Massacre in his mind when he declared the Anti Terrorism Bill as urgent.” USec Badoy added.
Col Camba said “The Rano massacre proves that the Communist Terrorist Groups are up to no good for the Filipino People and to our Nation. Instead, they have greatly hampered our country’s growth and development. And as the country faces the deadly Corona Virus Pandemic, terrorism continuously disrupts the peace and security of our nation; compounding to the already difficult situation brought about by the pandemic”.
He added “Together we will work hand in hand to finally put an end to the armed struggle and violence. We will continue to strive with our commitment in maintaining peace and order in the country.”
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