The lumad group lambasted the military forces belonging to the 28th, 30th, 72nd, and 67th Infantry Battalions for launching all-out-war operations that affected the three towns of Baganga, New Bataan and Compostela Valley starting April 6 to present.
Meanwhile, local farmer’s group, New Bataan Farmer’s Association (NEBFA) which sought intervention from concerned rights groups expressed alarm that the said military units have encamped in a primary school in Sitio Spur Dos, Brgy. Ngan in Compostela town and has “disrupted” the educational activities of the children as well as the “peace in the area.”
NEBFA also said some military elements would encamp in the town’s gymnasium and in some resident’s homes.
Military operations of the composite units have also affected lumad-inhabited Sitios Macopa, Biangonan, Sitio Binantal, Sitio Cabetian, and Sitio Uduan in Brgy. Manurigao in the municipality of New Bataan, according to KMP.
“A total of 64 families or 332 individuals, most of whom are Mansaka and Mandaya lumads, have been forcibly displaced in Brgy. Manurigao alone. This poses threats on 266 women and children, most of whom are malnourished due to extreme poverty,” Fanagel said.
Fanagel attributed poverty and food insecurity to the “militarist policy” of the Arroyo administration.
“Poverty in the rural areas is first caused by lopsided development policies of the economist Mrs. Arroyo and her foreign capitalist clique. Secondly, by the unjust and inhumane wars waged by the bloodthirsty General Esperon and again by the Commander in Chief Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,” Fanagel said.
He added, “Arroyo and Esperon’s frenzy for war is the biggest contributing factor to food insecurity and poverty in the country. Imagine the livelihood, opportunity and property damaged or neglected when the military transgresses on civilian communities and make these as their theatres of war,” Fanagel said.
PASAKA calls for the immediate pull out of the military troops under the 101st Brigade commanded by Brigadier General Carlos Holganza in the towns of New Bataan and Compostela in Compostela Valley as well as to those in Sitio Macopa in Brgy. Manurigao, in the boundary of Baganga Davao Oriental.
PASAKA, Secretary General