(UPDATED) Davao City – A military official denied the reported incident of drunken soldiers who fired at communities in Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
According to a text message sent to Davao Today by 2nd Lt. Jonathan Lubrido, “it is not true. We invite Salugpungan to approach us if they have questions.”
Members of a local indigenous peoples organization scored the military Monday for allegedly sowing fear among the residents after some drunken soldiers went berserk in the community of Sitio Nasilaban, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
According to the statement issued by Salugpungan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanugon, last October 11 at around 6:30 in the evening, residents heard gunshots after some elements of the 68th Infantry Battalion got drunk.
The fire came from a military post located at some 50 meters away from Nasilaban Elementary School, and 200 meters away from the high school campus of Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center.
Residents said they also heard a volume of fired shots from the same area.
“The firing was focused at two neighboring communities of Sitio Banwalay and Sitio Bugni where there are hundreds of residents,” the statement said.
The group said that volumes of fire lasted until past 7:00 in the evening. They, however, heard random shots followed by a shout “Allahu Akbar! If you turn on your lights, I will fire at you!”. This lasted until 9:00 in the evening.
But a Council Member of Salugpungan, Datu Teody Mansumoy-at belied the statements of Lubrido.
“They are lying, they are hiding their real conducts in the communities. My cousin was there when the incident happened,” said Mansumoy-at in a phone interview with Davao Today.
Salugpungan also scored the army after an incident occurred Sunday wherein the army shouted at some group of children saying “Get out of here! You’re of no good. You don’t follow the agreements!”
The group accused 17 members of the 68th IB as responsible for the incident.
“What they did resulted to fear among the residents and the lives of hundreds of civilians including children were put in danger,” the group said. (davaotoday.com)