A return to the “militarized areas” is also a violation to international human rights instruments, said Bishop Felixberto Calang, of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and chairperson of Barug Katungod Mindanao.
As schools across the country are holding commencement exercises, schoolchildren from Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod, Davao del Norte would be trudging, instead of marching, and going not up a stage to be applauded, but down from their mountain communities. In the process they have earned a new title – not graduates, but bakwit, evacuees, the displaced.
Some 1,500 Ata Manobos left their villages last April 1 in the hinterlands of Talaingod, Davao del Norte after what they said were harassments brought by military troops occupying their communities for weeks.
TALAINGOD, Davao del Norte – Ata-Manobo children complained that they were included in sporadic military questioning of residents in this…
The Ata-Manobo Lumads repeated history as they fled from heavily militarized villages on foot and upon reaching access roads, boarded trucks to seek refuge in Davao City. Along the way, a mother gave birth, while a 12-day old infant died.
Datu Doloman Dawsay, spokesperson of the Manobo organization Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanugon (Unite to defend the land) said that military operations of 68th Infantry Battalion, 60th IB and 4th Special Forces displaced 1,353 individuals comprising 309 families from the sitios of Pongpong, Nalubas, Bagang, Bayabas, Saso, Lasakan, Sambolongan and Bugni of Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
LUMADS TARGETTED. Isidro Indao, Spokesperson of the Lumad group Pasaka-Southern Mindanao Region with Manobo leader Datu Doloman Dawsay appealed for the “pull-out” of Army troops from the Manobo communities of Talaingod, Davao del Norte. The Lumad leaders alleged that the Army has been “committing human rights violations and acting as a clearing force in order for logging and mining operations to enter their communities.” (Medel Hernani/davaotoday.com)
A Manobo tribal leader in Davao Del Norte claimed that new troops sent near their village threatened both men and women and scared schoolchildren as they accused the village of harboring New People’s Army guerrillas.