Karapatan: Army officials not off the hook yet on farmer’s torture

Mar. 16, 2016

DAVAO CITY – Human rights group Karapatan wanted the Army to punish Army officials and not just the low-ranking soldier and the Cafgus involved in the torture of a Lumad farmer in Malita, Davao Occidental on February 19.

The story and video of the torture of Orlando Engo, alias Kaido, 52 years old in Barangay Demoloc, Malita was posted on Facebook by Fr. Joey Ganio Evangelista on March 9.

Engo is now pursuing charges against his perpetrators identified as Army Corporal Sandy Batolbatol and members of the Special CAFGU Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) under the 72nd Infantry Battalion.

The suspects have been placed “under arrest” by the Army pending their investigation.

However, Karapatan said the higher command of the Armed Forces in Mindanao is “accountable” over the incident.

Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan – Southern Mindanao, said the members of the Cafgu were made as “sacrificial lambs, in order for the 10th Infantry Division to project themselves as an agency who respect human rights.”

“But the truth is, this division must be held accountable as well. They are the ones who placed these elements in the field in the first place,” Suazo said.

“This is not a simple case of lack of oversight; this harassment and physical assault is part of the systematic war against the people, Oplan Bayanihan,” Suazo added. (davaotoday.com)

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