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Stop the bombings in Talaingod, Davao del Norte

Talaingod, Davao del Norte

We, the leaders and members of the Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanugon, strongly call to immediately stop the bombing and militarization of our communities in Sitio Tibucag and Sitio Pangaaan of Barangay (village) Dagohoy and Sitio Nalubas and Sitio Bagang of Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte . The 60th Infantry Battalion and the 4th Special Forces under the 10th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are responsible for the spate of human rights violations against our tribe since they arrived last 4 March 2014.

From 3:00 pm until past 4:00 pm this afternoon, 20 March, we heard big blasts of bombs and saw two (2) helicopters and four (4) warplanes. The bombing had greatly threatened our tribe.

We strongly condemn the aerial bombing perpetrated by the military inside the ancestral land of the Manobo. This is a huge violation to our right to live peacefully and to be free from any threat to our lives.

We would also like to expose the human rights violations experienced by our people. Yesterday, 19 March, there were military who stayed in Sitio Nalubas, Barangay Palma Gil. Purok leader Tungig Mansimuy-at, community teacher Roylan Licayan, and thirteen (13) pupils and three (3) parents were walking towards Sitio Palungan to get chicken and root crops to prepare for the community school’s graduation. They were accosted by 15 elements of the military. They were interrogated separately and held for 1 hour. Their photos were also taken.

From Sitio Palungan, they were forcibly escorted by seven (7) military personnel back to Sitio Nalubas. Along the way they again met thirty (30) military personnel and were again interrogated. They were released after one (1) hour.

In Sitio Pangaan, the military destroyed the rice fields.  They also took and cooked the chickens.

A woman elder named Ubonoy Botod Manlaon from Sitio Bagang, Brgy. Palma Gil was illegally arrested by the military while walking going to Sitio Bagasan with her rice seeds. She was taken by the military for one (1) week and was forced to guide them in their counter-insurgency operations. She eventually escaped from the custody of the military.

In the past years, we have experienced many kinds of human rights violations including murder, destruction of our farms, threats among others, but until this day, we have not achieved justice and no one among the perpetrators were punished.

Therefore, we call to immediately stop the militarization and pull out of the military forces in our ancestral lands.  We challenge all the municipal officials of Talaingod, officials and council members of the province of Davao del Norte, the Commission on Human Rights and all other concerned agencies to immediately conduct an investigation, make accountable those who perpetrated the violations and help the victims achieve justice for the said violations.

We also call for the support of the organizations, church people and concerned individuals to conduct separate and independent investigation. Please help us in our demand for respect of our basic rights, right to our ancestral land and right to self-determination to achieve peace based on justice.

Stop the militarization in our ancestral domain!
Pull out all military forces from our ancestral domain!
Punish all abusive forces of the military under the 10th Infantry Division of the  AFP!
Respect our right to ancestral domain and right to self-determination!

For reference:
Datu Doloman Dausay
Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanugon
Talaingod, Davao del Norte
Mobile no: +639303183434

(Translated into English by Rural Missionaries of the Philippines Southern Mindanao Region)

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