Councilor probe on failed lumads ‘rescue’ sought

TWO Davao City councilors on Tuesday urged the City Council to investigate if proper protocols were followed during the failed rescue of the Lumads at UCCP Haran.

Councilor Karlo Bello, in his privilege speech at the City Council regular session last Tuesday, said that they want to ask officials who were involved in the UCCP Haran incident on what went wrong in the incident and what were some protocols that were violated.

"We want to know from the PNP and the DSWD who were involved in the said incident. We want to know if certain protocols were followed especially to situations where they need to coordinate and I believe that some instructions of the mayor were violated," Bello said.

He said that protocols may have been violated when some personnel appeared to have been receiving orders from North Cotabato 2nd District Representative Nancy Catamco.

He also said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) appeared to have given more weight to the claim of Catamco on the situation of lumads backed by the tribal leaders who may be aligned with the military.

Bello also noted that the IPs being locked in the compound is unbelievable because it is clear and apparent that at that time that no person was being held against their will.

Councilor Leah Librado-Yap, in a media interview, said that the basis of the rescue were all allegations.

"Ang trafficking nahitabo didto, allegations to tanan. Asa man ilang basehan? Ang katong nahitabo didto ingon nila naay kidnapping naa mi mismo didto sa area gipagawas sila pero wala sila nigawas (The trafficking that's happening there, those were all allegations. What is their proof? If the kidnapping is true, why is it that nobody came out?)," Yap said.

She said that further investigation should be made on the issue.

Yap also condemned the involvement of Catamco on the incident.

"What she did was beyond her power considering she's a legislator which is far from her function. Although it is ok that she would say that she is concerned but her actions betray her intention. Why is it that if she wants to fix something why would forcibly do it? Why would she bring the whole police force there?" Yap said.

She added that they will study as to whether they would declare Catamco as persona non grata on Davao.

"Actually we will study if we can declare her as a persona non grata in Davao. Because this is our place and she just barged in. But it's not an easy thing to do, we have to gather more facts to justify the situation," Yap said. (KVC)

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