Alleged Haran marshal calls on gov’t to help Lumad IDPs

AN ALLEGED active member of Manilakbayan left UCCP Haran and surrendered to the 71st Infantry Battalion around 3 p.m. on Sunday at the army headquarters in Purok 8, Barangay Nueva Visayas, Mawab in Compostela Valley.

1Lt. Jhocell Asis, the civil-military operations (CMO) officer of 71st IB, identified him to TIMES as alias Kardo, a former team leader of Squad 3, Front Guerrilla Unit/Sentro de Grabidad since 2015.

She claimed that Kardo told them he was still 16 years old when he was recruited by the movement. The alleged rebel was reportedly part of the team that attacked members of the 71st IB and 46th IB that resulted in the death of one officer and two enlisted personnel in Mabini and Pantukan, Compostela Valley in 2014 to 2016.

Kardo also worked as a marshal in UCCP Haran compound.

“As a marshal, he was tasked to guard the more than 100 people called as bakwits who are detained inside the church, 40 of whom are children and all are members of Indigenous People (IP) from Talaingod, Davao Del Norte and Agusan Del Norte,” she added.

Kardo allegedly told military officers that the families inside Haran were promised that their needs and food will be provided if they stay in the compound. However, he claimed that the provisions quickly dried up after two months.

He claimed that most of the families already wanted to go home but the organizers and marshals inside the compound prevented them from doing so. They were also told that their homes were destroyed by the military so there’s nothing could go home to.

Kardo also claimed that the Haran families were only used by the organizers as capital to gain financial support from different foundations and groups.

“How can these people say that in there (Haran) we can achieve progress? How can we escape from poverty if we only do rallies and listen to their lectures against the government and teach us to be violent for armed struggle?”

“Some of the bakwits were detained for almost five years with no improvements. Instead, our lives became harder than before, ” he added.

“I am calling on Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio of Davao City and other concerned government officials of Davao Del Norte to help the remaining bakwits inside UCCP Haran to allow them to return to their homes,” Kardo added.

Lt. Col. Esteveyn E Ducusin, the 71st IB commander, expressed his gratitude for the continued mass surrender to his battalion.

“The continued mass surrender to our unit is an indication that the masses are now much aware of the different government programs such as the President’s Build Build Build and Job Job Job programs which create more infrastructure and job opportunities for the people, free access to PhilHealth and free education for all,” he said.


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