DAVAO CITY – A militant leader of the Higaonon tribe in Bukidnon lamented he is facing “trumped-up” murder charges by a relative who claimed that her husband was killed by the New People’s Army.

Jomorito Goaynon, the chairperson of the Kalumbay, a regional organization of indigenous peoples in Northern Mindanao, was named in a complaint filed by Jenita dela Mance, wife of Dorlito Goaynon dela Mance, at the Malaybalay City police station. Also named respondents in the murder charge were Jomorito’s four siblings, two nephews, a niece and a cousin. The complainant claimed they were members of the Rexan Perez Command-New People’s Army.

Goaynon told Davao Today in a phone interview on Tuesday that he was able to read the charge sheet through a friend in the police force but has not yet received a subpoena in the case as of press time.

“Nakapangayo ko sa among higala nga pulis unya gihatagan ko niya og kopya sa gipasaka nga kaso. Ang mga igsoon pud nako giapil didto (I was able to get a copy of the complaint through a friend who is a cop. My siblings are also included in the complaint),” Goaynon said.

He said the other suspects named for the killing of dela Mance was his brothers Floro, Perfecto, Pedrito, and Ellorin Goaynon. Two of his nephews Mamerto, Roberto and niece Elvie are also named. While, his cousin, Apolinario was also included in the list.

Goaynon said Dorlito dela Mance is also his nephew.

“Ang iyang mama igsoon sa among papa (His mother is a sister of our father),” he said.

Goaynon said the New People’s Army have already admitted that they killed Dorlito.

“Giangkon man na sa NPA nga sila ang nagpatay kang Dorlito dela Mance. Rason sa mga NPA nga dunay dakong kalapasan ug anti-rebolusyon ni siya (The NPA has already admitted that they killed Dorlito because he has a lot of violations and he was anti-revolution),” Goaynon said adding that Dorlito was known to be a member of the paramilitary group in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

Goaynon said they were able to talk to the wife of Dorlito  who admitted to them that she has no plans to file a complaint, but Dorlito’s brother Romulo dela Mance along with military troops threatened her to sign the affidavit naming the Goaynons as suspects for the killing of her husband.

“Gipapirma lang siya. Giingnan siya nga dunay dautang mahitabo niya kung dili niya pirmahan (She was only forced to sign (the affidavit). She was told that something bad will happen to her if she will not sign),” Goaynon said adding that the brother of Dorlito, Romulo dela Mance who is “active in the 8th IB under the 403rd Brigade and members of the military” were the once who forced the complainant to sign the affidavit.

“Napugos na lang ko og pirma sa gipasaka nga kaso sa inyo kay ako mismo nakakita sa maong panghitabo (I was only forced to file a complaint against you because I, myself, saw what happened to my husband),” Jenita said according to Goaynon.

Dorlito was reportedly killed in the presence of her wife and three children, including two minors. He was shot several times, hitting him on the left side of his mouth, neck and then in the different parts of his body. The attending physician declared him dead on arrival.

Human rights group Karapatan, in a statement on Tuesday said that by her own account, dela Mance’s wife based her complaint on the perpetrators’ statement that they were members of the New People’s Army when they shouted, “Ingna ang nagpatay sa imong bana mga NPA. Ingna ang mga dela Mance nga panghut-don namo silang tanan kay mga dautang binuhatan! (Tell them the NPA killed your husband. Tell them we will finish off all the dela Mances because of their wrongdoings!).

“Ang problema karon sa pagpasaka og kaso, ginapugos siya sa militar ug sa igsoon ni dela Mance nga si Romulo dela Mance nga papirmahon siya og complaint ug mao ning mga tawhana ang i-complaint nga nakalista na daan (The problem now is, she is forced by the military and the brother of her husband, Romulo dela Mance to sign the complaint with these names as respondents, the list was already there),” Goaynon said.


Goaynon said the military is only harassing them who lead for the protection of their ancestral domain.

“Para kanamo usa kini ka plano sa military – sa 8th IB, sa 403rd Brigade ug 4th Infantry Division,   para gukdon ang mga lider-lumad nga nagbarog para sa pagpanalipod sa yutang kabilin (For us, this is the military’s tactic of running after lumad leaders who are defending the ancestral domain),” Goaynon said.

Goaynon said their ancestral domain covers 7,000 hectares and that the Dole pineapple company wanted to enter the area since 2007.

“They are negotiating with our family for the entry of Dole, but until now we take the lead in protecting the ancestral land,” he said.

Goaynon said the armed forces and the government resort to filing trumped-up charges against IP leaders who stand up for their right to self-determination.

“Dili kita magpadala ug magpailad sa ginahimo sa gubyerno nga ang katawhang lumad ang ginalutos (We will not let this affect us and we will not allow the government to fool us – they who are attacking the rights of the IPs),” Goaynon said.

Second charge

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said the incident is the second case filed against Goaynon who figured prominently in the anti-militarization campaign in Mindanao particularly the case of the recent evacuation of more than a thousand residents in Balit, Agusan del Sur.

“On March 23, Jomorito Goaynon and seven other leaders of people’s organizations and human rights workers received a copy of a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and Writ Amparo filed by the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (IDPA) in the name of Tedy Ostos in February 23. Ostos accused the respondents of illegal detention of his son Rene Ostos and family.  Rene was among those who stayed at the evacuation center in Brgy. Balit,” Palabay said.

“The Court of Appeals, however, in a resolution dated March 5, 2015, pointed out defects in the petition and ordered the petitioner to correct them within five days,” she said.

Palabay said when some respondents talked to the complainant, he told them that soldiers of the 26th IB tortured and detained him in a CAFGU detachment which “forced him to execute the complaint affidavit.”

“On April 1, Tedy Ostos, through Atty. Hilarion P. Clapiz Jr., executed an affidavit recanting his testimony against the respondents,” Palabay said.

Karapatan believes that the complaint charged against Goaynon is “another case of trumped-up criminal charge after the first case against Jomorito Goaynon et al failed.” (davaotoday.com)

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