Police thought dialogue failed which caused Haran commotion

THE commotion at UCCP Haran along Fr. Selga Street last July 23 which injured 12 individuals occurred after the police were told that the inter-agency dialogue bogged down.

“We were told that the dialogue was a failure,” Supt Marvin Pepino, the ground commander at that time, told Commission on Human Rights commissioners Leah Tanodra-Armamento and Roberto Eugenio Cadiz, during the public inquiry on Friday at ApoView Hotel.

Pepino said that they didn’t want to cause trouble as the directive at that time was for them to exercise maximum tolerance.

“We just wanted that the gate would be opened so those who want to leave can leave,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rebecca A. Santamaria, assistant regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, on July 28 denied that they ordered the police to storm the ate.

Santamaria said they were there to rescue the children, women, elderly and the sickly but had no hand as to the commotion.

She added that during the closed-door dialogue, representatives of the inter-agencies already agreed to postpone the rescue operation to give the tribal leaders time to persuade the families inside the compound.

On the other hand, Cadiz said that the CHR saw both conflicting and overlapping testimonies among participants of the two-day public inquiry over the alleged abuses of indigenous communities in Talaingod, Bukidnon and Surigao.

Cadiz also said that it would take them one to two months to come up with the results and recommendations considering the bulk of documents and testimonies they have to gathered.

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