Monday, March 25, 2019

Probe sought into alleged militarization in Northern Samar

MEMBERS of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 7, filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the alleged militarization of communities in Northern Samar.

The resolution was filed by ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro; Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas; Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao.

In the resolution, the Makabayan bloc said members of the 20th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army have been encamped in the barangay hall and health center in Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas, Northern Samar since June 6, 2017.

According to the Makabayan lawmakers, the presence of the military in government-owned buildings makes it difficult for the barangay officials, employees and residents "to hold their sessions, provide services to residents."

The village officials also do not feel safe in these civilian buildings, the resolution stated.

The solons noted that the barangay health center is situated right next to San Miguel National High School.

According to representatives Tinio and Castro, many teachers and students have not reported to school because of alleged incidents of explosions and discharge of firearms.

The opposition bloc also reported that they have received reports from the village officials in the said community that the military is intimidating persons suspected of being members of the New Peoples' Army (NPA).

They added that the military has allegedly harassed members of the barangay council who called for the pullout of the battalion from the said barangay. (SunStar Philippines)
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