BAYAN MUNA TO AFP: STOP ATTACKING LUMADS
Says AFP spreading lies to cover up their attacks vs innocent Lumads
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate today slammed AFP Spokesperson Edgard Arevalo for "once again spreading recycled and blatant lies against the Lumad evacuees (bakwits) and their support groups.
"Malinaw naman kung sino ang nagmi-militarize sa mga komunidad at mga paaralan ng mga lumad -- at ito ay ang AFP at ang mga tuta nitong mga paramilitar. Sino ba ang nambobomba, nananakot, pumapatay at bumubuo ng mga paramilitary groups tulad ng Alamara laban sa mga Lumads, hindi ba ang militar? Kahit anong malicious spin o pagsisinungaling ang gawin ni Arevalo ay di nito kayang itago ang mga paglabag na ito ng militar sa karapatan ng mga lumad," said the progressive solon.
According to the data of Save Our School (SOS) Network, about 80% of the attacks against Lumad schools by the military and paramilitary groups happened in Southern Mindanao (SMR), the President’s home region. There are 89 schools and more than 2500 students victimized by the said attacks perpetrated by state forces. These cases include military occupation, extra-judicial killings (EJKs), threat, harassment, intimidation of students and teachers, destruction of school properties, indiscriminate firing, vilification, closure or threat of closure of school, filling of trumped-up charges against school personnel, illegal arrest and detention, enforced disappearances, torture and forcible evacuation.
"Among the reported incidents of EJKs perpetuated by the AFP against Lumads happened last July 13 where members of peasant organization HuMabin namely Carlito Arado, 54 and Carolina Arado, 52 were killed at their house after members of 46th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army indiscriminately fired at them. At the same time, Analiza Simbahon, a member of Parents Teacher and Community Association (PTCA) of Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) in Macasicareg, Brgy. Anitapan, Mabini and also President of Masicareg Farmers Association, together with her two children was admitted at the hospital due to severe gunshot wounds," he added
"What the AFP is trying to do now is a malicious replay of its condemnable script of the 2015 UCCP Haran incident in Davao City: to vilify and harass the Lumads and their support groups as a prelude to another military attack against them, especially the bakwits now sanctuaried in UP Diliman. This should be exposed and stopped," added the Davao-based solon.
"The AFP is trying to force these bakwits to return home even without assurance that the military, as well as the paramilitary forces like the Alamara, will pull-out of their communities. This proves how little regard and respect, if at all, that the AFP affords the lumad,"he added.
"The full force of state repression is seemingly now being thrown once again against the hapless bakwits. Far from their militarized ancestral lands, they are still dogged by violations of their rights. As we continue to scrutinize the AFP budget in the ongoing budget hearings, Col. Arevalo should better edit his worn out script, which has long been discredited in 2015 even by UN Special Rapporteur on Internally Displaced Persons Chaloka Beyani," ended Rep.Zarate.###