Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tribal Leader Says Alamara Not Behind Killing of Lumad Student

TALAINGOD, Davao del Norte - Members of the paramilitary group Alamara were not responsible for the killing of a 15-year old Lumad student in a village here on Sunday, a tribal leader said.
In an interview on Tuesday, Datu Lumansad Sibogan, member of the council of elders of the Ata-Manobo Tribal Council of Elders Association of Talaingod, said Alibando Tingkas was killed during a “pangayaw” or tribal war in Sitio Laslasakan, Brgy. Palma Gil, Talaingod.

He said Tingkas, his grandson, was killed by Joven Salangani who took revenge against the victim’s family after his uncle, Donato Salangani, was killed by alleged members of the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) on the same day.

Donato was allegedly shot by Luib “Bagani” Daus, Dalahis “Carlos” Manlulugpis, and Tudtud Ladahay under one Commander Jose of the NPA for turning his back on the group.

In a press release, the Save Our Schools (SOS) Network also named Joven Salangani, whom it tagged as an Alamara member, as a suspect in the killing.

In an emailed statement, the 10th Infantry Division said Donato Salangani declared a pangayaw after learning that his daughter, Tessie, 18, died inside the Haran Evacuation Center in Davao City, a facility run by United Church of Christ of the Philippines but he had not seen her remains.

It said the 10th ID received reports that Donato was harvesting abaca with his wife, daughters and other companions “when he was shot to death by a group of NPAs at Sitio Sambulangan, Barangay Baugan.”

It added Tingkas was a member of the tribe to which the suspects in Donato’s killing belong.

Citing a blotter report obtained at the Office of the Ata-Manobo Council of Elders of Talaingod, the statement read that Colorot Salangani, the wife of Donato, reported they were ambushed by rebels using M4, AK-47 and M14 rifles at Sitio Sambulongan, Barangay Baugan.

“The council of elders resolved to call the two sides to the office of the tribal elders to settle the killings through their tribal justice system,” it said.

Alamara or not?

Sibugan denied the presence of Alamara in their community and said it was the NPA that caused the conflict.

He added that Tingkas had already stopped from attending classes at the Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center, a Lumad-run school about two years ago.

The school is located in Sitio Km. 30, Barangay Dagohoy in Talaingod.

Rius Valle of SOS Network said Alibando was shot in the chest twice.

“We are enraged and saddened by this incident. The paramilitary group and their military cohorts will not stop from attacking and even killing lumads in the name of their counter-insurgency operations, even children are not spared anymore” Valle said.

“Witnesses said they were on their way home, walking from Sitio Nasilaban, Brgy. Palma Gil heading towards Sitio Bayabas, when suddenly they were fired upon in Sitio Laslasakan, just a half-an-hour walk from Sitio Nasilaban,” he said.

He noted that the suspect is from Sitio Barobo, “a known Alamara territory where a detachment of the 68th Infantry Battalion (is) located.”

He said the community believes that the Alamara was organized and funded by the 68th IB, an allegation the 68th IB commander denied.

In statement, MGen Rafael Valencia, commander of the 10th ID, refuted the allegations saying his soldiers and members of the Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit abide by the law and were not near the site where the killing happened

He called SOS Network’s allegation “another deceptive attempt to put the AFP in the bad light."

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