LIBERTAD, Butuan City – Yosie, wife of Emerito Samarca who was killed by members of the militia group Magahat Bagani Force, said he was a good man who did not have enemies.
Samarca, who served as the executive director of the Alternative Learning for Community and Agricultural Livelihood Development, Inc (Alcadev), was laid to rest Saturday following a funeral march attended by 10,000 sympathizers.
On September 1, Samarca was found dead inside the faculty room of the high school for the Manobos in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga town in Surigao del Sur.
Two other Lumad leaders were killed by the group believed to be “trained and supervised” by the military. One was the chairperson of the Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (Mapasu), Dionel Campos and his cousin, Datu Jovello Sinzo.
“I never heard negative comments towards him from anyone,” Yosie said.
She said that her husband was a role-model to their children.
“Not just to them, but also for school where he served and the community where the school belonged,” she added.
Yosie told members of the press during the funeral march of her husband that she was not afraid even as she grieved.
Students and teachers of Alcadev found Samarca dead with hands and feet bound, a slit on his throat and stab wounds on his body.
The current officer-in-charge of the school, Maricres Pagaran, also shared her experiences with Samarca saying “Tatay Emok was a good leader.”
“He always looked after us, not only with our work, but also our personal lives,” said Pagaran.
Pagaran said she will not forget how Samarca remains humble even with his accomplishments.
Under Samarca’s leadership, Alcadev was awarded twice with the government’s National Literacy Award in 2001 and 2005.
The award is given to “non-government organizations or academic institutions involved in delivering the Department of Education’s alternative learning system program and which have developed and implemented literacy programs that have made a positive impact on learners and the community.”
“Kanang naa na sya sa taas na posisyon pero nagpabilin gihapon iyang pagka-simple (He may hold a high position, but still he maintained his simplicity),” she said.
“He always thinks of helping the Lumads in their education,” added Pagaran.
Yosie said her husband “loves to share his knowledge to the two sectors that he really loves – the farmers and the Lumads.”
“But he spends most of his time on the Lumads,” she said.
Yosie said they will seek justice for his death.
“I will face it [whatever it is] to have justice,” she said.
Eliza Pangilinan of Karapatan Caraga said they have already filed charges against the members of the Magahat Bagani Force who were identified by the residents.
The group has filed charges of multiple murder, robbery grave threat and coercion against the members of the militia.
Related Story: Raps Vs Army, militia in Lumad killings
Meanwhile, Rius Valle, convenor of the Save our Schools Network in Southern Mindanao said five offices in the Senate have already accepted their request for investigation.
“Tatay Emok was a big loss to us in the network, most specially to the Lumads,” he said.
The funeral caravan was joined by more than 10,000 mourners from different regions in Mindanao.
Valle said “this shows how he is respected and well-loved.”
Samarca’s body was marched from Guingona Park here before he was brought to Oraya Cemetery in Libertad. (davaotoday.com)