DAVAO CITY – Tribal militias fired their guns at students of a Kapalong religious school when they returned to the school after buying school supplies, students told the media in a press conference in Davao, October 30.
The incident happened last month yet, but it was only this week that they were able go here and report what happened to them on late September.
About 20 students of Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Incorporated (MISFI) Academy in Kapalong, Davao del Norte, were reported to have been in the group who were fired upon by members of the tribal militia, called Alamara.
On September 28, Alamara miiltiamen stopped the students to search through their school supplies, even though the students have asked their permission a day before they were to return to the school.
The students went downhill to Sitio Patil, the commercial center of Barangay Gupitan, to buy school supplies. From there the group decided to stay overnight, but asked permission from the Alamara that they would be returning to the school the following day.
Yanyan, one of the students, said Sitio Patil, is an hour walk from the the school’s location in Sitio Muling, and it is the nearest commercial place where they have been buying all of their supplies.
On September 28, early in the morning, Yanyan told DepEd officials that they were stopped by the paramilitary group asking them to show them what they are bringing and after the checking, one member of the paramilitary group yelled at them saying bad words.
Yanyan recalled that one militiaman “shouted at us calling us demons”. “Mga yawa mo! Dili mo garespeto sa amoa! (Demons! You’re not respecting us)”.
Yanyan told Davao Today that they were clueless as to why they shouted at the students as the military also demanded that they ask for forgiveness from the Alamara. In fear that they might be shot dead or interrogated, anyan and his friends asked for forgiveness so that they can go home.
“After that, we just heard gunshots, three gunshots,” Yanyan explained. One of his companions ran due to fear but all the rest stayed down thinking that it could be their death.
Yanyan said, “I already did not think of running for they [Alamara] are just close to us, we could be killed if we will run.”
Yanyan said that it was a few minutes after they were ignored by the paramilitary group that they left the place and go home. (davaotoday.com)