Word war resumes

Army, NPA hurl accusations in killing of two Lumads

THE MUDSLINGING started following the deaths of an 18-year-old Lumad and a tribal chieftain in separate incidents on Tuesday as both the military and progressive groups blamed one another in the murders.

Sr. Supt. Marcial Mariano Magistrado, provincial director of Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office, identified the 18-year-old victim as Obillo Bay-ao, who was shot in Sitio Dulian, Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod.

He said yesterday in the press conference in Royal Mandaya hotel that the victim was declared dead in Davao Regional Medical Center on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Magistrado said the blotter revealed that the victim was on his way back to their house from their farm when he was shot by perpetrators. “We have two persons of interest,” he said, although was still unidentified.

But the group, Save Our Schools (SOS) Network, posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday that Bay-ao was allegedly killed by a member of Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu). The network identified the victim as a grade six pupil of Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center.

Rius Valle, spokesperson of SOS Network, said in a statement that the victim is the 47th lumad killed in the region under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. He said this showed that Lumad killings continue even under the current administration.

Valle said Bay-ao was allegedly killed by his cousins, Ben and Joven Salangani. Ben is a member of Cafgu while Joven is a member of paramilitary group Alamara, he added.

“Nothing has been done to arrest and detain the perpetrators,” Valle said.

However, Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Datuin, assistant commander of 10th Infantry Division, denied that the boy was killed by one of their own. “We are currently in the process to investigate this further,” Datuin said.

Army condemns

murder of Datu

Meanwhile, the 4th Infantry Division condemned the NPA for killing Datu Rostico Sandag Porogoy, tribal chieftain of Santiago, Agusan del Norte in Barangay Comagascas, Cabadbaran City at around 7:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

According to the report, Datu Porogoy was on his way to visit his people in Pangaylan (a manobo community in Santiago) when three gunmen, who were riding a motorcycle and armed with cal .45, shot him twice at his back and one on his right shoulder.

Lt. Col. Glen Aynera, commanding officer of 29th Infantry Battalion said, “The killing of Datu Porogoy is a blatant execution.”

“This is another Lumad killing purposely to sow threat and violence among the peace-loving Lumads and to the Filipino people as a whole,” he added.

Datu Porogoy is the representative of CADT 134. He was a staunch peace advocate in Caraga region and was instrumental in convincing the IP community in denouncing the NPA, the military said.

“The attack on Datu Porogoy is a clear and undeniable proof of the NPA’s human rights atrocities in Lumad communities,” he further said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen Ronald Villanueva, 4th ID commander, urged Karapatan and other organizations who are calling for the end of Lumad killings to similarly condemn this dastardly act and denounce the NPA’s human rights violations.

“Let not Datu Porogoy’s death be the end of his advocacy for his people, but rather an inspiration to others to pursue peace and development,” Villanueva said. “We sympathize with his family, relatives, friends, love ones, and constituents.”