WANTED posters of eight of 16 militant leaders accused of kidnapping and illegally detaining more than 500 indigenous peoples from Davao del Norte and Bukidnon provinces who have been housed at the UCCP Haran House in Davao City for more than a year now has been posted all over the city.
Two are posted at both sides of the pedestrian overpass in front of the Victoria Plaza, another was posted at Uratex, and still others have been seen.
Listed as wanted with their photos were Pasaka Confederation of Lumad chair Kerlan Fanagel, Kharlo Manano, Sr. Stella Matutina, Karapatan-SMR secretary general Hanimay Suazo, Exodus for Justice spokesperson Jurie Jaimie, Save our Schools Network spokesperson Rius Valle, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) spokesperson Sheena Duazo, and Gabriela-Davao secretary general Mary Ann Sapar.
Against the eight along with Ryan Laniba, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) spokesperson Tony Salubre, Jimboy Marciano, Jaja Encosio, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Region (KMP-SMR) Chairperson Pedro Arnado, Restita Miles, and Isidro Andao for alleged kidnapping and illegal detention.
The charges sprang from the attempt to force the lumads out of Haran last year by North Cotabato Representative Nancy Catamco, who claimed the lumads were there against their will.
No less than Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte interceded, ordered the gates of Haran opened and told the lumads who wanted to go home to do so as there are buses waiting outside for them. They stayed.
Just the other day, the lumads at Haran along with several other militant groups called a press conference and later joined a picket condemning the arrest order saying that the wanted person are in fact the people who have been providing for their needs.
"Klaro nga tumo-tumo lang ang mga kaso nga gipasaka (these are only trumped-up charges filed) against our leaders under Benigno Aquino administration. We appealed to them to withdraw these trumped-up charges," Anakbayan-Southern Mindanao spokesperson Malaya Genotiva said.
Camilo Asonan, Tikulpa Council member called on President Rodrigo Duterte to order an investigation on how a warrant was issued against the 18 mass leaders, saying it is impossible for just 18 people to illegally detain 700 lumads. He said that these 18 are even the very people who sees to their daily needs.