Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Military mum on supposed civilian round-up in Bukidnon

THE military has declined to comment on reports that a lumad teacher and several residents of San Fernando and Kitaotao towns in Bukidnon were supposedly rounded up and brought to a military camp over the weekend.

In an alert of the Save our Schools Network, teachers of the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. (Misfi) were reportedly ordered to report to a military barracks in Sitio Bayabas, barangay Bonacao, San Fernando last Saturday, March 3,

Last March 1 meanwhile, the advisory said 13 civilians of barangay Digongan in Kitaotao town, including the village chief and a barangay councilor were allegedly “arrested’ by the military, reportedly under the 88th Infantry Battalion of Army's 4th Infantry Division (4ID).

Among those arrested were members of the parents and teachers association of Misfi.

According to Misfi, they were brought and detained at the 401st Brigade headquarters in Maramag, Bukidnon.

Four of the 13 persons were released shortly on Friday, March 2.

"On the day of their arrest, the military brought a blindfolded person and allegedly was a rebel returnee, and this person was deliberately pinpointing civilians in Digongan where they were gathered upon orders of the military. This rebel returnee identified these 13 arrested civilians as allegedly supporters of the New People's Army (NPA)," the advisory said.

It added that the arrest was reportedly done without an arrest warrant, and detained without a formal complaint.

In an interview, First Lieutenant Tere Ingente, 4ID spokesperson, said she still cannot confirm the reports.

"I can't confirm if what happened was indeed an arrest, because I'm sure there are previous incidents that also need to be considered so we cannot divulge yet because we do not know the whole story," Ingente said.

"I don't think it's a plain arrest, I don't think the teacher was arrested because he or she was a lumad teacher," she added.
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