Military dares Karapatan to prove accusations

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Thursday, August 28, 2014


PROVE it.

The Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) challenged Karapatan, a human rights group, to prove their accusations with evidence against the two military generals who it has alleged of perpetuating various acts of human rights violation committed by retired general Jovito Palparan.

In a statement, Karapatan accused Brigadier General Ricardo Visaya of the 4ID and General Eduardo Año of the 10th Infantry Division (10ID) for what the group perceived as continuing Palparan’s campaign of “terror” in Mindanao.

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The 4ID, which denied this, instead challenged Karapatan to present evidences to proper agencies to prove the allegations.

“We will continue denying issues they are throwing and will throw at us. The military will not be shaken by these allegations. I suggest they report it to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) or to the civil courts. With this, their reports will have proper venue and we, the military, can also answer their accusations,” 4ID spokesperson Major Christian Uy said.

Karapatan said with the leadership of the two generals, as “trained dogs” of Palparan, who at present is under incarceration, terror still reigns in Mindanao, especially on the cases of human rights being allegedly violated by the military.

“Gen. Palparan may be in jail, but his trained dogs, Brig. Gen, Ricardo Visaya and Gen. Eduardo Año are sowing terror in Mindanao,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, in a statement.

Visaya was accused in the murder of a “lumad” (tribesman) Marcel Lambon, who was allegedly killed by two paramilitary members last August 14, 2014 in Barangay Kalabugao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.

Lambon was gunned down by Dodoy Genton, a member of the Special Cafgu Active Auxiliary (SCAA), and a suspected military asset Maru Sanugan. The victim succumbed to two gunshots from the suspects.

Lambon was a council member of the PIGYAYUNGAAN (a Lumad organization representing the Higaonon tribe of Kalabugao, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon). Lambon led his organization in the campaign against environmental destruction and the expansion of an oil palm plantation in the Municipality of Impasug-ong.

Uy, however, said the military has nothing to do with the incident and that it was a “personal matter” between the victim and those who killed him.

“We have a report from the Philippine National Police who is in-charge [of] the investigation that the reason was caused by a ‘personal grudge.’ The victim had a record that he killed someone and that it is one of the angles the police [are] looking into,” Uy said.

Palabay said that Uy is covering crimes allegedly done by some members of the military.

“The army officer you mentioned (Uy) must be doing a ‘Noynoy Aquino’–feigning innocence on crimes they are accused of while the truth and facts are staring at them in their face,” she said.

“Karapatan and its chapter in Northern Mindanao, and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in the region documented several cases of killings, forced evacuation and rights abuses of Gen. Visaya and his men with their trained paramilitary dogs,” she said in a text message sent to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Wednesday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 28, 2014.

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