Haran 15 also tagged in Kidapawan massacre

PROGRESSIVE group leaders earlier tagged in kidnapping and serious illegal detention at UCCP Haran expressed dismay as some of them are facing charges of direct assault on their alleged involvement in the April 1 incident in the so-called Kidapawan massacre.

The group, also dubbed as Haran 15, arrived at UCCP Haran on Monday, August 1, after joining the Manilakbayan. They had been cleared by the Department of Justice on kidnapping and illegal detention cases.

Manilakbayan convenor Bai Ali Indayla, in a press conference held at Haran Compound, said they came home peacefully with the promise of the fruits of ceasefire, and also with the dismissal of trumped up charges against them last July 18 but they were surprised with another set of charges filed against them.

“Pagbalik namo dinhi, mao lagi na ang problema kay abi namo nga ceasefire, abi namo ug musunod ang Armed Forces of the Philippines, wala na untay pagpang-harass ug trump up charges pero ang nisalubong sa amoa pagbalik ug Mindanao lahi napud nga kaso. Naay gipasaka ng kaso ang kapulisan sa North Cotabato pianaagi ni Col. Alexander Tagum na mao ang commanding officer sa nahitabo na pagpamusil ug pagmatay nila sa protesta sa North Cotabato (We thought that the Armed Forces of the Philippines will follow the ceasefire, that there should be no more trump-up charges for us but what met us when we returned to Mindanao was another case filed by Col. Alexander Tagum, the commanding officer designated during the killing of protesters in North Cotabato),” Indayla said.

She said four of them from Haran 15 have been accused of direct assault, including Karapatan Secretary General-Hanimayn Suazo, Pasaka Spokesperson Kerlan Fanagel, Chairman of Peasant Movement of the Philippines, and Pedro Arnado.

Pasaka Secretary-General Jong Monzon was included even if he was not present in the incident.

Others accused were chairman of Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa-Cotabato Norma Capuyan, KMU-SMR secretary-general Dodong Basilio, Jerry Alborme from KMP, Sandra Campos, Pastor Joy Mirasol, Grace Gamalinda, Grace Noval, Cora Espinoza, Benjie Badal and Joel Maglungsod.

Indayla said that she only went there on the third day of the protest along with Bayan Secretary General Sheena Duazo, who unfortunately was not included among the accused.

She added that they will face the case since she honestly believed that it was the police who really caused the fatality.

“We will really face the charges because the truth is we did not assault the police. It was them, it’s very clear in the video. They held the guns, they shot and killed the farmer, they threw stones at us,” Indayla said.

“{The farmers] were shot and their right for peaceful assembly to speak out their complaints was violated and those who helped them were charged, so this is still form of injustice and we don’t want the AFP and PNP to continue this,” Indayla added.

She said the charges filed against the 15 should be dropped like the case of the Haran 15, calling for the Department of Justice and local courts in Mindanao to dismiss the cases.

Duazo, for her part, said that they also raised the issue of filing trump up charges against militant groups and the chief executive said that it can be stopped now because of ceasefire.
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