Friday, October 2, 2015

Soldiers escorted killers of Lumad leaders, witnesses say

TANDAG CITY (MindaNews/01 October) – Some 30 Army troopers were with the members of the paramilitary group Magahat who reportedly killed three Lumad leaders in a village in Lianga, Surigao del Sur on Sept. 1, evacuees who said they witnessed the killings said Thursday.
Erlinda Pagalan, of Km 16, Sitio Han-ayan in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga said the Magahat herded all residents of her place and other areas of Han-ayan to the basketball court of Km 16 and made them witness the killings.
“They arrived at 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 1 and gathered us at the basketball court. Then the Magahat ransacked our houses and took cell phones, cash and anything that was of value to them,” Pagalan said.
Manobo children try to continue with their daily chores as students at the evacuation site in Tandag City on Octo. 1, 2015. Some 3000 mostly Manobo Lumads fled their homes in Lianga, Surigao del Sur and neighboring areas after the massacre on Sept. 1 of three Lumad leaders in the area by alleged paramilitary men. MindaNews photo by H. Marcos C. Mordeno[/caption]
“After that, they shot dead Dionel Campos and Bello Sinzo in our presence,” she said.
“We were stunned and frightened, we thought they were going to kill us next,” she added.
Pagalan said the Magahat killed Emerito Samarca earlier, at about 4:30 a.m. of the same day with a bolo.
Jocklyn Enriquez, also of Km 16 said he believes Samarca was killed with a bolo so that the other residents could not be forewarned. “I saw Garito coming from where Sir Emok (Samarca’s nickname) was killed carrying a bolo that was dripping with blood.”
Pagalan said the Magahat and the soldiers talked for about two hours before leaving the place.
“The Magahat ordered us to leave the place in two days. If we wouldn’t leave, they vowed to return and harm us,” she said.
She said they started walking toward Diatagon proper at around 10:00 a.m. without taking breakfast and lunch. From Diatagon, they took multicabs to the sports complex in Tandag, the provincial capital, where they have been staying since. - From mindanews.com

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