DAVAO CITY – The survivor of the alleged massacre of a tribal leader and two other farmers in Paquibato district here asserted that those who were killed by the Army are civilians.
Rosita Sandolan, mother of farmer-leader Aida Seisa, who survived the shooting incident by the Army’s 69th Infantry Battalion said that she will file charges against the military during the third committee hearing led by the Committee on Civil, Political, and Human Rights on Tuesday.
Three others, namely, Datu Ruben Enlog, Randy Carnasa, a purok (village) leader and farmer Oligario Quimbo were killed in what human rights group call “Paquibato massacre.”
Her daughter, Aida, owns the house in Purok 7, Barangay Paradise Embac, Paquibato District, here where the Army attacked midnight of June 14.
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Sandolan survived the shooting after hiding. She recounted the incident during a committee hearing of the City Council on June 24.
“We will certainly file a case (against the military), because my neighbors were really civilians. My daughter, she’s the one who helps those who have been abused by the military, she is not an NPA,” said Sandolan to Councilor Karlo Bello, who heads the committee.
Bello brought up the issue of how civilians in conflict areas are perceived, particularly activists or those who sympathize with armed groups.
“Kung ako magpakape sa NPA, NPA na diay dayon ko? (When I treat an NPA for a coffee, does that make me an NPA already?),” Bello asked during the hearing.
Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR, said that they are “determined to attain justice for the victims of the Paquibato Massacre.”
“We are prepared for the long battle ahead. We expect the military to play dirty like they always do. But we will not stop until the (Army) is made accountable to its crimes,” Suazo said. (davaotoday.com)