DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Lumad educators, students, and parents formally filed charges against the military whom they accuse of attacking their schools at the Commission on Human Rights Region 11 on Thursday.
Ramel Miguel, a school teacher of the Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, along with fellow teachers Roylan Licayan, Ayen Langayed, parent Reta Bay-ao, and student Marjun Manlingkaw, were the complainants.
In a copy of the complaint furnished to Davao Today, the group accused the army of extrajudicial killings, frustrated murder, illegal arrests, threats, harassment, intimidation, destruction of school property, and school encampment.
The complaint named army commanders Lt. Col. Emmanuel Canilla, Lt. Col. Vicente Edgardo De Ocampo, Lt. Col. Jacob Thaddeus Obligado, Lt. Col. Gilbert Roy Ruiz, and Lt. Col. Michael Licyayo as the respondents.
Among the cited cases concerned the case of Rodel Butanlog, then a member of the army’s Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit.
The complaint also included the killing of Carolina Arado, 52, after unidentified gunmen fired at their house in Anitapan, Mabini, Compostela Valley on July 13.
For her part, STTICLC Field Operations Officer Sarika Calimbo said they will be pursuing criminal charges against Butanlog in court, as advised by the CHR’s investigators.
However, she pointed out that their complaints center not only on Butanlog, but on the military, whom they say has “systematically maligned” their schools especially this year.
“Nagapanawagan gihapon mi, ug i-assert gyud namo sa legal battle, na ang accountability niini, dili lang si Rodel Butanlog kundi ang tibuok nga naka assign diha nga AFP sa Talaingod and other places as well nga nakasinati pud ug human rights violations, attack sa among eskwelahan, sa among mga personnel and sa among mga estudyante (We call for, and assert in our legal battle, that Rodel Butanlog is not the only one that should be held accountable. This includes all the military units assigned in Talaingod and other places as well who have experienced human rights violations, attacks on our school’s personnel and students),” she added. (davaotoday.com)