The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) urged the government to investigate the death of three Lumad, including a minor in Surigao del Sur.
“While we wait for the results of the independent probe, the commission urges the government to shed light on these deaths and conduct its own investigation to bring justice to the death,” CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said.
The 3 Lumad were just picking abaca from the farm when they were shot by soldiers from the Third Special Forces Batallion in Lianga town, Surigao del Sur.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon in Sitio Panukmoan, Barangay Diatagon.
The victims, Willy Rodriguez, Lenie Rivas, and her 12 -year -old brother, died immediately.
The youngest victim was a student in grade 6 of the Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur, while the 2 oldest victims were members of a group.
The three even asked the permission of the military before taking abaca.
According to the Karapatan Caraga report, the remains of the three were taken to the military headquarters and said they were members of the New People’s Army.
The group has denied this, especially since the 2 victims are children.
The Kilusang Mayo Uno group and the Union of Agricultural Workers condemned the incident.
They should investigate and hold the culprit accountable.
CHR wants probe on killing of 3 Lumad in Surigao del Sur
The 3rd SFB had not yet issued a statement when this article was posted.
In a press release by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), they said the minor was being used as a child warrior, prohibited by International Humanitarian Law.
But the groups have denied this based on the statement of the victim’s relatives.
There is a long history of killing and harassing Lumads by the military.
In September 2015, the datu and chairperson of the Alcadev Lumad School in Surigao del Sur were also killed.
In December 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte warned Lumads would soon become an “extinct tribe” if their group members would continue to join the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army and fight the government.
Duterte made the remark following the death of Jevilyn Cullamat, a lumad and a daughter of Bayan Muna Representative Eufemia Cuillamat. The young Cullamat was killed in an encounter with the government forces in Surigao Del Sur.