Katungod Lumad Alert:
The dela Mance paramilitary group has struck once again, killing Mankombate Mariano, and wounded his grandchildren aged 10 and 11 years old.
On October 27, 2015 at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Mariano and 16 others, including 12 children, all from Sitio Balaudo, St. Peter, Malaybalay City, were on their way to Dulmatong to pick Durian fruits. Dumaltong is a forested area in Barangay Canangaan in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon. It was a yearly event for the Talaandig community of Sitio Balaudo to gather fruits from the area at this time of the year.
Mariano was leading the group while one of his grandchildren (named ‘Dodong’, not his real name) was behind him. When they were about 5 meters from a durian tree they had planned to pick, a series of shots were fired from the direction of the tree. Mariano’s companions ran back, leaving behind Mariano and Dodong, who could no longer move because of their gunshot wounds. Mariano was shot on the chest and hip while Dodong was hit on his left leg. Dodong fell to the ground, rolled down the hillside and hid behind abaca plants.
From his location, Dodong saw Manlumakad Bocalas, who was holding a machete, ran towards his grandfather who was lying on the ground. Mariano was hacked in the head, left shoulder and left thigh. The other assailant, Mankolobi Bocalas was aiming his rifle at the others who fled.
Dodong attempted to run and was shot again in his right leg. He bravely stood up, ignoring the wounds he sustained and ran. Mankolabi followed him with gunfire. His school backpack containing his notebooks fortunately saved his life. Some bullets hit the bag although he also sustained wounds on his right shoulder, his thigh, and his left arm and hip.
Before sunset Dodong returned to the place of the incident and saw Mariano’s dead body.
Meanwhile, the other grandchild (‘Nena’, not her real name) of Mariano was able to reach Balaudo with the others at around 7 in the evening. Nena experienced a numbing of the right leg and found that she had a bullet wound there. Some more of their companions arrived at around 2am the following day, having stayed in the forest without food or water.
The community leaders decided to return to Dumaltong and look for their companions that early morning of October 28, 2015. They retrieved Mariano’s body near the durian tree. They also found Dodong, who was alive but wounded and weak, lying a few meters behind some bushes.
The perpetrators, Mankolobi Bocalas and Manlumakad Bocalas were reportedly members of the dela Mance Group believed to be part of the Alamara, a bigger paramilitary group based in the mountains on the Bukidnon and Davao boundary including the Pantaron Range. The dela Mance group continues to harass and threaten the communities as they continue to control the use of the ancestral lands along the Pantaron range.
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Katungod Lumad Alert is published by the ‘Higala sa Lumad’ [Friends of the Lumad] Network.
‘Higala sa Lumad’ Network is a support group composed of a broad range of interfaith personalities/representative of organizations synergizing relevant capacities and resources for Lumad communities under attack. ‘Higala’ also serves as an informal monitoring network for Lumad human rights. ‘Higala’ has been established as a component of the ‘Healing the Hurt’ Project.
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