House resolution seeks to investigate UCCP-Haran incident

Jan. 26, 2020

Bayan Muna Representatives Eufemia Cullamat and Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Isagani Zarate, along with Lumad Woman Chieftain Bai Bingkay Bibyao file a resolution on Monday, January 27, asking the House Committee on Human Rights to investigate the forcible entry of paramilitary group Alamara into the Lumad evacuation center at the UCCP Haran Center in Davao City. (Photo courtesy of Bayan Muna Party-list)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Makabayan lawmakers are seeking investigation on the “illegal and forcible entry” of paramilitary group Alamara into the Lumad evacuation center located at a church-owned compound here last Saturday, Jan. 25.

On Monday, Jan. 27, Bayan Muna Reps. Eufemia Cullamat, Carlos Zarate, and Ferdinand Gaite, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago, filed House Resolution 663.

Their resolution urges the House Committee on Human Rights to condemn and conduct an investigation on the incident when bolo-wielding men, identified by Lumad evacuees as members of indigenous paramilitary group Alamara, hacked their way into the evacuation center last Saturday morning.

The evacuation center inside the compound of United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran served as a sanctuary for around 500 evacuees who fled their homes due to militarization.

READ: Paramilitary with bolos forcibly enter Lumad sanctuary

“Without showing any written valid order from any competent authority, members of the paramilitary group destroyed the evacuation center’s barbed fences using wire cutters and bolos, and, eventually destroyed the gate of the compound despite calls from the evacuees to talk peacefully,” read the resolution.

The lawmakers said the Lumads evacuated from their communities to avoid the “harassment perpetuated by the Alamara and the military.”

“The illegal entry into the UCCP-Haran evacuation center, on top of the previous criminal acts committed by the Alamara, should warrant the immediate arrest of its members,” it added.

The lawmakers also noted in the resolution that lack of action of the Davao City Police to apprehend the Alamara members and its implementation of “illegal lock down” prohibiting members of the press to enter the compound and cover the press conference of UCCP Bishop Hamuel Tequis and the evacuees.

Davao City Police Director Col. Kirby John Brion Kraft, in an interview with the media on Saturday, denied the presence of bolo-wielding men.

However, men carrying cutting tools and bolos are seen in the photos taken by Lumad group Pasaka when the incident happened.

Who’s accountable?

Pasaka secretary general Jong Monzon welcomed the resolution “as a step to hold the military-backed Alamara accountable.”

“We urged the Congress to heed the Lumads’ call for justice and conduct an impartial investigation on the incident. We want to see Alamara members behind bars for what they’ve done,” he said.

Monzon also hold Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib accountable “for ordering the attack against the Lumad evacuees.”

He revealed that during their dialogue, Jubahib admitted to be “behind the incident.”

The incident came a week after the Davao Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC 11) issued a resolution ordering the closure of UCCP-Haran Center, as abuses against Lumad supposedly happened inside the facility.

Jubahib is a member of RPOC 11.

Makabayan lawyers slammed the RPOC resolution as “contradictory to the mandate of the peace and order council.”

“The RPOC has no authority to impose the closure of a religious institution that provides sanctuary in a private property to the evacuees,” the resolution added.

Monzon said the Lumad evacuees will remain vigilant as the same incident may happen as long as the RPOC’s resolution stands. (

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