“Killing a child is the peak of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Alamara paramilitary group’s monstrosity,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general on the recent killing of Lumad child Alibando Tingkas, 15, a grade 3 pupil of Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Learning Center in Talaingod, Davao del Norte. Tingkas was killed by the Alamara paramilitary group.
According to initial reports, on January 17 at around 3 p.m., Tingkas, with two other adult companions were walking home to Sitio Bayabas, Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod when they were fired at by the Alamara paramilitary group in Sitio Laslasakan. Tingkas was shot twice in the chest. Tingkas’ body was retrieved only when a contingent of community members went to the site despite fear of possible attacks from the Alamara. The gunman was identified as Joven Salangani, an Alamara member from Sitio Barobo, where the 68th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army has a detachment. The Alamara paramilitary group and the 68th IB-PA have a long list of rights violations in Talaingod.
“More than four months ago, the Lianga massacre brought to the public’s consciousness the AFP’s use of paramilitary groups as their surrogates in implementing Oplan Bayanihan against Lumad leaders, communities, and schools. Even children are targets of BS Aquino’s counter insurgency program,” Palabay said. “Despite the many pseudo-investigations by different agencies of the BS Aquino government—the Commission on Human Rights, the AFP, and DOJ-NBI, none of those involved in the killing of Datu Juvello Sinzo, Dionel Campos, and school director Emerito Samarca were arrested and were made to face the court,” Palabay continued.
“What’s worst, the violations continued without any let up,” Palabay said, citing the recent trumped-up cases filed against community leaders and teachers in Lumad schools in Han-ayan, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
“The AFP used two minors to execute false affidavits implicating community leaders and their teachers in Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS),” Palabay said. About 17 individuals, including George “Ka Oris” Madlos are now subject of a preliminary investigation for violations of RA 7610 (Anti-Child Abuse Law) and RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking Law).
All, except Madlos, are from the Han-ayan community where the September 1 massacre happened. Madlos is the spokesperson of the National Democratic Front-Mindanao.
“Beastly as they are, the AFP and paramilitary either kill our children or use them against their own people. And BS Aquino allows this to happen,” Palabay said. Aside from Tingkas, there are 28 other children victims of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration.
“The children are defenseless and most vulnerable. Using them in counter-insurgency programs or including them among the targets do not only destroy the children’s well-being but also their future and their tribes’ future. Hands off the children!” Palabay ended.
Cristina “Tinay” Palabay
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Building
#1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets
Central District, Diliman
Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.