By LITO RULONA
A GROUP of indigenes yesterday lashed out at Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. Zubiri over the capitol’s alleged failure to do something about the killing of a pregnant native in San Fernando, Bukidnon, in July.
Jeffrey Magdagit, leader of the Kaugalingnong Sistema Igpasasindug tu Lumadnong Ogpaan (Kasilo), sharply criticized Zubiri for not fulfilling a promise to bring the killers to justice.
In a news conference here, Magdagit said an armed group killed a pregnant woman and seven others, mostly children in Sitio Tibugawan, Barangay Kawayan in San Fernando town in July 30.
Magdagit said Zubiri assured them that he would have the killers arrested but until now, nothing has happened.
“Kini si Gov. Zubiri… daghan na kayo siya saad nga siya mismo ang mopadakop sa perpetrators pero naglatagaw man gihapon hangtud karon,” he said.
But when indigenes staged a rally outside the Bukidnon capitol to seek justice, he said, Zubiri called them “fake lumad.”
The Rev. Fr. Christopher Ablon, secretary-general of Karapatan in Northern Mindanao, said Zubiri also promised to have a chief of police replaced in a month if the primary suspect, Alde “Butsoy” Salusad, is not arrested. He said Zubiri has not been true to his word until now.
The group has also blamed Salusad for the killing of a barangay chairman named Jimmy Liguyon on March 5, 2012. They said a warrant of arrest for murder was issued by the Malaybalay City Prosecutor’s Office against the suspect.
In July, a paramilitary group allegedly led by Salusad sprayed a house with automatic gunfire, killing Makinit Gayoran who was pregnant and wounding seven others, five of whom are minors.
Lawyer Czarina Golda Musni, convenor of the Higala sa Lumad Network, said members of the Tigwahanon community who fled their homes wanted to return to their respective but the Bukidnon government could not guarantee their their safety.
Musni said the group feared that Salusad and his followers were enjoying military protection.