DAVAO CITY , Philippines — The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao has called President Rodrigo Duterte as mass murder over the spate of unabated killings that targeted the indigenous people and Moro people in Mindanao.
“Duterte, the first president from Mindanao, has become the mass murderer of his fellow Mindanaoans,” Ka Joaquin Jacinto, spokesperson of the NDFP-Mindanao, said in a statement sent to media Wednesday.
“He will be ever be reviled as the mass murderer of the Moro people and destroyer of Marawi City, oppressor of the Lumad and pillager of ancestral lands,” he added.
Jacinto said that Duterte’s platform of governance for Mindanao has caused its people “nothing but misery, brutality, destruction and death.”
He further warned that the “Red October” ouster plot, a claim by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) allegedly being hatched by the communists against the chief executive, would only intensify the senseless killings in Davao and Caraga regions where the AFP said to have a
the “critical mass.”
“This could only mean more killings, arrests, oppression and other violations against the people of Mindanao,” he said.
Jacinto said that since June 2016 until December 2017, there have been 188 recorded extra-judicial killings of civilians, activists, lawyers, church people and local media in Mindanao, with 37 of those killed Lumad.
“Of all the killings, 7o percent were committed under Martial law,” according to Jacinto, adding that there were 247 cases of frustrated killings within the same period, including the frustrated killings of 78 Lumad, 53 of which were volunteer teachers of alternative schools.
Another case of AFP’s brutality, according to Jacinto, was the alleged nine-day torture of Janry Mensis, 22, and “Jerry”, 16, whom the Army troopers from 71st Infantry Battalion “burned and tried to kill” in December 2017 in Compostela Valley.
“Since June to September 2018, 15 members of progressive farmers and Lumad organizations have been killed by operating troops of the AFP or their military agents,” Jacinto said.
Apart from the spate of killings, Jacinto said the Lumad communities in Talaingod in the Davao Region, Manobos of Bukidnon and the Manobo tribes of Surigao del Sur were constantly being dislocated because of bombings and gross human rights violations during combat operations of the AFP.
“Not less than 59 incidents of bombings and 18 incidents of strafing were committed in other Mindanao communities within a year resulting in the forcible evacuation of 43,480 individuals, most of which were Moro and Lumad,” he said.
Since June of this year, the soldiers from 56th, 72nd and 88th Infantry Battalion along with the Alamara paramilitary groups have been occupying communities of Talaingod in Davao del Norte. They occupied civilian homes and schools and have committed grave human rights abuses against the Lumad in the area, according to Jacinto.
Elsewhere in Mindanao, Jacinto said the AFP continues to bomb Moro communities, especially those around resource-rich Moro communities, citing the incident last September where soldiers carried out bombing and mortar shelling in Brgy. Bialong, Shariff Aguak and Datu Saudi Ampatuan, forcing hundreds to evacuate; and in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, killing a civilian and wounding three, all in Maguindanao.
“Duterte would like people to think that he is still confident of the support of the people of Mindanao. His policy of mass murder, however, shows his insecurity,” he said. “The anger felt by Mindanaoans will surely intensify into revulsion.”(davaotoday.com)