2 Killed, 2 Wounded in hacking incidents
By Media Mindanao News Service
News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988
Posted by Davao Today

MAKILALA, Cotabato (MMNS/September 30, 1987) – The controversial kidnapping raps case against three priests, two nuns and several church lay workers of Kidapawan Diocese takes a new twist when members of the cultist Tadtads allegedly went on a rampage, killing two persons, including the father-in-law of one of the accused, and seriously wounding another.

Killed at 7:30 p.m. September 27 in Barangay Nabundasan, Tulunan (some 40 km. southwest of here) was Custodio Nim, 51, father-in-law of Charlyn Nim; one of the nine accused now detained in the SBC building here. Custodio, an active church lay worker and president of a militant farmers organization affiliated with KMP, was killed by members of the anti-communist Tadtads while on his way visiting his son, Renato.

Custodio bore several hack wounds with his head almost detached from his body, witnesses said. His son, Renato, who saw the incident was also seriously stabbed by the bolo-totting attackers. Renato’s sister, Nide, said that the Tadtads presented themselves as military men looking for someone inside their house.

Several hours after, at 9 p.m. another person was hacked into pieces a few kilometers from Nabundasan.

Killed was Federico Cagod, a barangay councilman of barangay Banayal also of Tulunan. Witnesses claimed, the Tadtads, barged into the house of Cagod and hacked him several times killing him instantly.

The two incidents were the latest of the more than 20 killings allegedly perpetrated by the bolo-wielding fanatics in the province documented by the Justice and Peace Desk (JPD) of Kidapawan Diocese.

The relation of Custodio’s death with the case against the Tulunan 9 including his daughter-in-law cannot be clearly established but sources said the killing must have been “politically motivated.”

In a related story, an estimated 3,000 placard-bearing people staged a caravan prayer-rally September 28 to protest the detention of nine church workers and to call for the speedy resolution of the case.

Led by Kidapawan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, the rally was participated by priests, nuns, students and individuals from South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and the cities of Cotabato, General Santos and Davao.

The rally, which converged near the ABC building here were the Tuluan 9 entered their second week of detention was dubbed by Bishop Pueblos as a “concrete symbol of the people’s unity.” He said he is optimistic the case will be resolved even as he also deplored the tragic death of peasant leader Nim.

“I am not hopeless, but I express a shadow of doubt on the credibility of some government authorities,” Bishop Pueblos lamented.

The bishop also called on the people in the government to heed “the cry of the poor” as he cited the seeming slow course of action initiated by government agencies. The bishop added that amid the present fate of the church, “We have to continue the cause for which Tulio poured his blood.”

Sectoral speakers also assailed the “persecution of the church” and the killing of several mass leaders charging that the same were offshoots of the “US-inspired Low Intensity Conflict (LIC)” supposedly adopted by the government of President Aquino.

Meanwhile, a top military officer of Central Mindanao, Brig. Gen. Jesus Hermosa, said over a radio interview that there are hard evidences to show that the accused were responsible of the crime. Gen. Hermosa was quoted as saying “If a priest can become a communist, then he can also become a rapist.”

On the other hand, Representative Gregorio Andolana (2nd District N. Cotabato) charged in a forum over the weekend that “top military officers in the region must have been in the backdrop” of filing the case against “progressive” church workers. Andolana, a member of the House Committee on Human Rights, added that he will initiate a move in the Congress to investigate and expose the “brains” behind the “persecution” of the church and the rush of killing incidents in the province.

The rally was generally peaceful though was marred by car-riding men distributing leaflets with vicious insinuations against the clergy, religious and the church. (Media Mindanao News Service News Digest Volume 1, August 1987-July 1988 Posted by Davao Today)

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