6 Lumad still missing after military operations in Lake Sebu

Aside from the eight killed last December 3, six more T’boli-Dulangan Lumad are missing after a military operation in Sitio Datal Bonglangon, Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, a human rights group in the region said.

Karapatan Socsksargen demanded from the military to surface Armando Barot, Jack Mayor Tataw, Berto Dudem Laud, Jeffrey Ambag Benan, Rudy Danyan and Albelardo Wali, all members of Kilukasku- Panaghiusa sa pagdepensa sa yutang kabilin sa mga Dulangan ug T’boli sa South Cotabato (Kilukasku- United to protect the ancestral domain of Dulangan Manobo and T’boli in South Cotabato).

They were last seen held in a military checkpoint in Bagumbayan, the group said.

Two other Lumads, Jamil Colano and Tony Diamante, went missing for a day on Wednesday but were found detained on trumped up charge of malicious mischief in Sultan Kudarat Provincial Jail, Karapatan said.

The disappearance of the six and the arrest of Colano and Diamante followed the alleged massacre of   Victor Danyan, Victor Danyan Jr., Artemio Danyan, Pato Celardo, Samuel Angkoy, To Diamante, Bobot Lagase, and Mateng Bantal,

Also reported wounded were Luben Laod and Teteng Laod in Brgy. Ned.

The Philippine Army said the incident was a clash between its 27th Infantry Battalion and New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas.

“The fatalities were all NPA members killed during the encounter with our troops,” 27th IB spokesperson 2Lt. Ranjan Palacio said in a radio interview.

Progressive organizations and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marbel, however, belied the claim saying the Danyans were civilians.

Diocese of Marbel Social Action Center director Father Ariel Destora said tribal chieftain, Datu Victor Danyan was not a rebel but the chair of a legal organization, the T’ T’boli-Manobo S’daf Claimant Organization  (TAMASCO).

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas secretary general Antonio Flores also said the victims were “members of the 140 T’boli-Manobo peasant families who have collectively occupied and tilled their ancestral land that were landgrabbed by the Consunji family’s DMCI.”

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Far South Mindanao Region (NDFP-FMSR added the victims were “civilian residents and not NPA members.”

NDFP-FSMR spokesperson Efren Aksasato said the military “approached” Danyan’s house and “opened fire.”

“This prompted the residents, armed with 12-gauge shotguns and indigenous weapons to fight back,” Aksasato said in a December 6 statement.

The military claimed two soldiers were killed and three others were injured in the incident.

The 27th IB was also accused of perpetrating the October 18, 2012 massacre of anti-mining advocate Juvy Capion and family in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur.

Karapatan said it accompanied the families of the six missing Lumad in search in Bagumbayan Police Station to different hospitals from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in Koronadal City, to no avail. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)