Group raises alarm over slays of lumads, farmers

A MILITANT group raised alarm over the seven cases of extrajudicial killings against farmers and lumads in other parts of Mindanao the past few weeks.

Speaking in Monday's Kapehan sa Dabaw at The Annex of SM City Davao, Karapatan-Southern Mindanao spokesperson Jay Apiag said this happened in the remaining days of the outgoing administration.

Apiag said that the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan under outgoing president Benigno Aquino's administration has set out to allegedly kill the seven farmers and lumads.

Slain victims were identified as Maria Myrna Cayag, Datu Julio Laracio, Johnny Basilisco, Paul Saludaga, Elenita Garing, Will Biliran and Marjun Baruer, all holding different responsibilities.

Apiag said Biliran and Garing were tagged as members of the New People's Army (NPA) who were arrested and killed. Garing was believed to be raped as her underwear was already removed.

He added that the death of the victims were politically related as families and witnesses testified that they have been constant targets of the government forces "red-tagging and surveillance".

"Nababahala ang Karapatan dahil habang papalapit na ang pagtatapos ng termino ni Aquino ay siya rin pong paglala ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao dito sa Southern Mindanao," Apiag said.

Aside from the seven cases of extrajudicial killings, he said, the group also recorded 17 cases of illegal apprehensions. He added that these people were tagged as members of the communist group.

The Karapatan appealed to the incoming administration under President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to look into these cases and hold military personnel, especially Aquino, accountable on the extrajudicial killings.
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