Continuing threats among teachers and students
Let us look into the chronology of events that imprint tales of terror in the minds and hearts of the Lumad tribespeople in Talaingod, Davao del Norte. If the place sounds familiar, it’s because this is where the main contingent of the historic MANILAKBAYAN late last year mostly came from, after having evacuated from their communities to evade the atrocities and human rights abuses of the AFP.
Some of the evacuees from Talaingod returned to their home places during the ceasefire period declared by the military during the Christmas holidays. But the soldiers have gone back to the besieged community and resumed their beastly acts using the notorious Alamara paramilitary as frontline terrorists.
Documented events are retold by the schoolteachers of Salugpongan Community Learning Center, as follows:
January 8, 2016 – Teachers Chrisanto Billote and Renelyn Sumile were on their way to their respective schools in Sitio Dulyan and Sitio Laslasakan, Brgy. Palma Gil after the Christmas break. They were preparing to board their motorcycle from Brgy. Sto Niño, Talaingod, when they noticed at a distance Ang-angoy Butanlog (an Alamara member) standing along the road going to Sitio Dulyan. This thug had threatened them with these words: “Ingna si Ma’am Lolit nga sulod sa lima (5) ka adlaw gikan aning adlawa kinahanglan magbaba na ang mga teachers sa Salugpongan kay pagbalik nako, unya naa pa mo, buhaton nako ang akong gibahad” (Tell Ma’am Lolit that in five days, teachers of Salugpongan should leave this school, because when I return and you are still here, I will do what I have warned you). Afraid of the threats he earlier made to kill the schoolteachers of Salugpongan Community Learning Center, the teachers then decided to take another route for safety.
January 9, 2016 – In Sitio Tibucag, Brgy. Dagohoy, teachers Serita Lawian and Richard Celis and four (4) students were set to return to Sitio Tibucag, and resume their classes. They departed from Sto. Niño at around 2;30 in the afternoon and arrived in Sitio Tibucag at around 6:30 in the evening. At that time, one of their drivers, Obello Bay-ao, told them that a day before, he was driving one of the students when they chanced upon Ang-angoy Butanlog in Brgy. Sto. Niño proper.
Ang-angoy told Obello that he would wait for the teachers to arrive in Brgy. Sto. Niño to monitor their arrival at Sitio Tibucag. He threatened to go to Tibucag on January 9 to kill the teachers since nobody knows him in Tibucag.
Ang-angoy further said that after Sitio Tibucag, he would proceed to Sitio Nasilaban, Dulyan and Kamingawan, all in Brgy. Palma Gil to go after the teachers of Salugpongan as he claimed they are members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
January 17, 2016 – Killing of Alibando Tingkas
At around 9:00 in the morning, teachers of Salugpongan in Sitio Laslasakan heard a volley of gunfire near Sitio Barobo (Central Baogan) which lasted for about an hour. The teachers were told by community members that a possible encounter between Alamara and the NPA happened near Sitio Barobo.
In the afternoon, Alibando Tingkas, 15 years old, together with his brother Romy Tingkas, 30 years old and his uncle, Idol Maas, 25 years old, were heading home to their respective Sitios in Pongpong, Bayabas and Laslasakan from Sitio Nasilaban, all of Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
At around 3:00 pm, before closing in to Sitio Laslasakan, they were shot by Joven Salangani, a known member of paramilitary group Alamara, and a resident of Sitio Barobo (Central Baogan) of Brgy. Palma Gil also known among the community as an ‘Alamara Territory’. Alibando was shot on his chest and died instantly. Romy and Idol sustained wounds but managed to jump over the cliff to escape and reached Sitio Laslasakan to call for help.
In Laslasakan, teacher Renelyn Sumile, 23 years old, and other community members heard two gunshots. After hearing the accounts of the survivors, they immediately tasked two people to check and retrieve Alibando’s body. However, they failed to do so as Joven Salangani was still at the site of the crime, threatening them not to go near the body. The two members reported this incident and called for all community members to retrieve the body, and this prompted Joven to leave.
The community immediately buried Alibando’s remains as set by their cultural practices and traditions. However, at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the teachers requested the community to dig him up for documentation, photographs and investigation purposes, which the community complied.
January 18, 2015 – Out of fear, the teachers left the community at around 9 o’clock in the morning.
. . .
THE remaining months within this twilight phase of Noynoy’s presidency would be filled with more horrific tales of killings as his “serial killer” regime escalates its fascist attacks against the masses who have awakened and realized the ridiculous emptiness of his “tuwad na daan”.
The days towards the elections will unfold more and more the inner shaft of President Noynoy’s moral worth as his government tries all iniquitous means to insure victory for his manok, Roxas.
The rottenness and bestial ferocity of Noynoy’s rule will be unmasked as yet the most bloody after the Marcos dictatorial regime. But the masses will again prove the real heroes. They will not take Noynoy’s deviltry sitting down. They will rise in resistance.