Arrested NorthCot farmers accuse military, police of frame-up

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 10 Jan) – Two farmers belonging to a militant group accused the military and police of planting evidence to justify their arrest in separate raids in Magpet, North Cotabato on Tuesday.

Harold Adiaton and Ian Solis, both organizers for the Panaghiusa sa mga mag-uuma sa Magpet (PAMA), were arrested after soldiers and policemen allegedly found improvised explosive devices (IED) in their houses.

But the two suspects accused the government operatives of orchestrating evidence.

Adiaton denied keeping an IED in his house, saying he saw a member of the raiding team place the item on his child’s bed.

“After that, they told me it was an IED and immediately chained me,” he said.

In another raid on Tuesday, police and soldiers arrested Datu Maylan Andas, leader of the Manobo-Aromanon-Pasakaday Association (MAPA).

MAPA and PAMA both belong to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas.

Joy Mirasol, secretary-general of Karapatan-North Cotabato, said the Army and police committed human rights violations by arresting the three farmers.

Lt. Col. Harold Argamosa, commander of the 39th Infantry Battalion, said Andas was arrested for frustrated murder based on a warrant of arrest issued in 2015.

He maintained that Adiaton and Solis were arrested for keeping IEDs.

The suspects were placed under the custody of the Magpet police.

Police said Andas would be turned over to a local court for his commitment order, while complaints of illegal possession of explosive are being readied against Solis and Adiaton. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)