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Human rights group reports harassment, bombing in Davao

Davao Today

DAVAO City — The series of military operations and encounters between government troopers and New People’s Army (NPA) rebels have resulted in harassment and bombing in a village in Davao City, Karapatan in Southern Mindanao reported.

Karapatan said on the first week of May, elements from the 3rd IB Task Force Harribon were seen conducting a foot patrol in the communities of Barangay Dominga, Calinan District, Davao City.

The group said that civilians in Barangay Dominga complained that their community was already heavily militarized.

On May 6, the report added, civilians from Sitio Cabagkutan, Barangay Dominga were forced to evacuate when an encounter between the 3rd IB Task Force Haribon and NPAs erupted.

Kagawad Dennis Epal of Sitio Cabagkutan, together with the other residents of wanted to evacuate to Barangay Dacudao but the military barred them from leaving, Karapatan said.

The group also reported that Kagawad Epal was interrogated and accused of being a member of the NPA by the soldiers.

“He asserted that he is not a member of NPA but a civilian, but the military did not believe him and threatened him that they will take away all his nails. After the encounter the residents were prevented from going out from their barangay and were monitored by the military,” Karapatan said.

On May 9, at around 3:00 in the afternoon, a strafing incident took place in Barangay Dominga at the house of a certain Rodolfo Dagahuya, Jr., farmer, 33 years old.

The group reported that Dagahuya’s dead body was later found by his neighbor.

“The residents suspected that the strafing incident was done by the 3rd IB Task Force Harribon. The cadaver was claimed by the disaster response team. The family has no idea as to where the cadaver was brought,” Karapatan said.

Last May 10, at around 7:00 in the morning, Karapatan said that the military dropped six bombs in the community that brought too much fear to the residents.

“They (military) illegally searched the houses of the residents and 0ne (1) civilian, certain Lascuña from Sitio Kibaton, was interrogated and mauled by the military and afterward his face was plunked on a mud,” Karapatan added.

Prove allegations

“Karapatan should prove their allegations and file necessary charges in a competent court,” said Captain Rhyan Batchar, chief information officer of 10th Infantry (Agila) Division.

In a phone interview on Saturday, Batchar said Karapatan should go beyond mere propaganda.

In a separate statement to the media, Batchar said two NPA rebels and a soldier were killed in a five-day skirmish between government forces and NPA rebels in the provinces of Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao City.

He added that the encounters occurred during the pursuit operations of the army against the rebels following the attack and burning of facilities of Lapanday Foods Corporation in Davao City and Panabo City late last month. (davaotoday.com)


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