A HUMAN rights group dared the military on Sunday, June 28, to spare Davao Oriental from its operations for the progress of the communities.
Karapatan secretary–general Hanimay Suazo, in a statement sent through email Sunday, said communities up in the mountains would benefit more without the presence of the armed forces.
"Every farmer could wake up early and work in his farm till late afternoon, not fearing that he will be accused as NPA [New People's Army]," Suazo said.
This will also remove the possibility of children being caught in the crossfire between the government troops and communist rebels, and everyone will have a freedom of being employed in whatever career they want to apply, Suazo added.
The Karapatan documented several human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by the military against the Typhoon Pablo victims, but the military earlier denied such accusation.
Suazo said the report highlighted the case of around 222 residents of Patong, an area near Sitio Kasunugan, who until now are unable to return to their homes in fear that the military might accuse them as communist rebels.
"Some homes were not completed in construction, as the residents have to flee, fearing the military might arrive and accuse them as NPA sympathizers," Suazo said.
Suazo said that if the forces of the 67th Infantry Battalion cease their operations, the efforts of the civilians to rebuild their communities would flourish.
"We dare the 67th IB to pull-out of their areas of operations. I am confident that no sooner will we see progress and peace like no other," Suazo said.