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Disarm, disband militia groups

Rochamae Bihag, CEGP vice president for Mindanao

IN the face of intense militarization and worsening human rights violations against the Lumad in Mindanao, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines – Mindanao denounce in the highest form the attacks of dela Mance paramilitary group.

Dela Mance, under the Alamara, is a partner of the Armed Forces in its military operations against the Lumad in Davao del Norte and Bukidnon.

On Sept. 27, 2015, two separate killing incidents of Jun Pabiana and Olaking Olinan in Balaudo, St. Peter, Malaybalay City was claimed by Manculubi Bucalas and Manlumakad Bucalas, both members of the dela Mance paramilitary group. The death of Mancumbiti Mariano, also a resident of Balaudo, was again claimed by the dela Mance.

These series of killings then led to the enforced evacuation of 50 families or 318 individuals from Balaudo and Kinuaw to Mahayag, Malaybalay City.

On Dec. 13, 2015, Datu Omaw and a self-ascribed Alamara member named Emboy Yawan held a meeting at the Barangay Hall of St. Peter, together with the barangay councils. Prior to the conduct, the Lumad leader relayed the AFP about the said gathering and even invited them to help assure the security. But the AFP declined and declared that with the presence of the Alamara, they can already “guarantee” the security. Yawan also claimed that they’ve been “fully supported by the government”.

Everything that happened during that gathering was a total fraud. How would it be possible that the security be guaranteed if the dela Mance and Alamara, and the AFP who served as their leading arm, are none other than the main perpetrator of these killings? This is obviously a degrading action done by the government, with the help of its state forces and paramilitary groups, to position itself into the political power which would then further the Lumad’s grave condition.

Hence, we vehemently denounce the Aquino government for perpetuating the attacks in Lumad communities. The alleviating cases of human rights violation against the Lumad and the installation of the paramilitary groups only show that Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan is nothing but a demonic and a divide-andule policy which continues its relentless suppression against the people.

Human rights violations will continue to aggravate under Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan. The Guild urge the immediate disarm and dismantle of paramilitary groups, immediate pull out of the AFP from Lumad schools and communities, justice for the victims of human rights violations, stop Oplan Bayanihan and hold Aquino and the AFP accountable for their crimes to the Filipino people,” Bihag ended.–Rochamae Bihag, CEGP vice president for Mindanao


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