Bangsamoro Parliament seeks probe on killing of Ancestral Domain division chief 

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 December) – The Bangsamoro Parliament on Thursday passed Resolution 298 urging the Philippine National Police and other authorities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to “immediately act and investigate the brutal killing” of Jocelyn Palao, Ancestral Domain Division Chief of the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs (MIPA) 

According to police reports, the 52-year old Palao, a Teduray from Timanan, South Upi, Maguindanao del Sur, was seated at the back of her mini van on her way home at around 5:45 p.m. when assailants who apparently followed her vehicle opened fire at LR Sebastian St. Rosary Heights 11 in Cotabato City. 

Members of a SOCO team conduct investigation at the crime scene along LR Sebastian, Rosary Heights 11 in Cotabato City where BARMM official Jocelyn Samar Palao, chief of the Ancestral Domain Division, was shot Tuesday (20 December 2022) evening. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

Police Major Amil Andungan Jr., chief of Station 2 of the Cotabato City police said scene of the crime operatives found around seven combined empty shells and slugs at the crime scene. 

Member of Parliament (MP) Froilyn Mendoza, a Teduray leader who is one of two representatives of non-Moro Indigenous Peoples in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), filed Resolution 131 on December 22, which was adopted on the same day by the Parliament as Resolution 298.

The resolution condemned “in the strongest possible terms this vicious killing of non-Moro IP woman.”

“In the spirit of justice, it is imperative to bring the perpetrator to the courts of law for his criminal act,” the resolution states. 

In a statement, the MIPA said it condemns in the strongest terms the “treacherous killing” of Palao.

The MIPA also called on “the proper authorities and other concerned agencies and offices to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation and bring into the bar of justice the ones responsible of this gruesome killing.” (MindaNews)

The resolution’s authors aside from Mendoza are the 15 other women MPs —  Laisa Alamia, Baintan Ampatuan, Susana Anayatin, Mary Ann Arnado, Anna Tarhata Basman, Bai Maleiha Candao, Sha Elijah  Dumama-Alba, Raissa Jajurie, Tarhata Maglangit,  Baileng Mantawil. Nurredha Misuari, Nabila Margarita Pangandaman, Diamila Ramos, Aida Silongan and Sittie Fahanie Uy-Oyod. Two other co-authors are Adzfar H. Usman and Khalid Ma-ampor Hadji Abdullah. 

Copies of the resolution were furnished the Minister of the Interior and Local Governments and the BARMM police chief. 

In a statement posted on her social media account late evening of December 20, Mendoza expressed outrage over the killing Palao.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this vicious attack on an IP woman,” Mendoza said, adding the attack was “unacceptable under any circumstances.”

“My office is deeply concerned about the repeated attacks on women in this context of fear and violence. When an IP woman is under attack and become targets, not only their lives are shattered but the future of the IP children,” she said. 

In a statement dated December 20, the MIPA said it condemns in the strongest terms the “treacherous killing” of Palao.

The MIPA also called on “the proper authorities and other concerned agencies and offices to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation and bring into the bar of justice the ones responsible of this gruesome killing.” (MindaNews)