10.06.2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Peace pact to address tribal conflicts in Caraga pushed

By Venus L. Garcia

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) – Following the recent development on the conflict involving lumads in Surigao del Sur, the convenor of the Victims of Injustice, Criminality & Terrorism in Mindanao (VICTIM), Arthur Tariman put forward for the mediation process between the contending lumad parties by pursuing indigenous peace process known as 'Tampudah', a peace pact, wherein the contending clans and warring members of a clan within a tribe should resolve their differences through a dialogue and negotiation procedure also called ‘Kahimunan’ as strictly done among them and excluding other people to be held right at their ancestral homeland and not elsewhere.

In a press conference held today at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga regional office here, Tariman specified that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) must work hand-in-hand with the local government officials and lumad tribal leaders to facilitate a mediation process to stop further escalation of violence among tribal clans in Caraga region.

"The ongoing hostilities between the battling tribes were triggered by the disagreement on revenue sharing out of the investments (mining operations, logging concessions and agricultural plantations) inside of the ancestral domain. Due to the lack of education and their strong adherence to tribal norms and practices, the opposing forces do not discriminate combatants from non-combatants," underscored Tariman.

He further mentioned that the AFP strongly denies that the Magahat Tribal Force is part of its command structure. Likewise, it was learned that the only paramilitary force in Caraga region is the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) which is under the supervision of a Cadre Battalion.

"By understanding the nature of the conflict, the different stakeholders can work together to end the senseless deaths of the rival lumad groups. The AFP vows to continue performing its mandate of protecting the people against armed violence perpetrated by the New Peoples Army (NPA) inside lumad communities and to support law enforcement operations against armed groups which perpetrated violent attacks against rival clans," Tariman said.

As convenor of VICTIM, Tariman emphasized the role of his group to facilitate in bringing in front of the media the former rebels (FR) to let people know and understand the prevailing conflicts in the region. “They are combatants against NPA and sincerely seek for the opposing forces to surrender and support the true government for a more peaceful nation," Tariman said.

Moreover, he is even open to the idea of fast tracking the judicial proceedings of finding justice to the recent criminalities. "To the three suspects of the killings of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Inc. or ALCADEV executive director Emerito Samarca; MAPASU chair Dionel Campos; and civilian Aurello Sinzo in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, we are willing to assist them in providing legal counsel to expedite the resolution of the case," remarked Tariman.

Also, Tariman acknowledged and thanked PIA-Caraga headed by regional director Abner M. Caga for giving them the opportunity to voice out the sentiments of the former rebels.

The 16 former rebels who were present during the press conference revealed their sad and hurtful experiences as followers under the NPAs in their respective areas. (JPG/DJA/PIA-Caraga)


“Save your lives, don’t be slaves by the NPAs,” says VICTIM convenor

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) – "Know your worth. Better save your lives and don’t allow yourselves to be slaves by the NPAs.”

This was the statement of Arthur Tariman, convenor of Victims of Injustice, Criminality and Terrorism in Mindanao (VICTIM), during the recently held press conference initiated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - Caraga held at the regional office here.

Tariman acknowledged the efforts of PIA Caraga headed by regional director Abner Caga for giving them the opportunity to voice out the sentiments of the former rebels. "As the convenor of VICTIM, we are presenting to the media these former rebels (FR) to let the people know and understand the prevailing conflicts in the region," he said.

Tariman also recalled how the communist group has destroyed the image of the government forces just to get the sympathy of the masses especially in the remotest areas.

"The NPAs respect no one. They do not respect the innocent civilians, even women and children were desecrated and made to suffer in what they call revolutionary justice," added Tariman.

When asked about the recent incident in Surigao del Sur involving lumads in the area, Tariman clarified that the three suspects of the recent killings of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) leader and two others, he and his group are willing to assist them in providing legal counsel to expedite the resolution of the case,” he said.

It was also learned from Tariman that the ongoing hostilities between the battling tribes were triggered by the disagreement on revenue sharing out of the investments (mining operations, logging concessions and agricultural plantations) inside of the ancestral domain. Due to the lack of education and their strong adherence to tribal norms and practices, the opposing forces do not discriminate combatants from non-combatants.

Also, as mentioned by said convenor, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) strongly denies that the Magahat Tribal Force is part of its command structure. "By understanding the nature of the conflict, the different stakeholders can work together to end the senseless deaths of the rival lumad groups. The AFP vows to continue performing its mandate of protecting the people against armed violence perpetrated by the NPA inside lumad communities and to support law enforcement operations against armed groups which perpetrated violent attacks against rival clans," he said.

He further stressed that the AFP must work hand-in-hand with the local government officials and lumad tribal leaders to facilitate the mediation process to stop further escalation of violence among tribal clans in Caraga region. (VLG/DJA/JPG, PIA-Caraga)


Former rebels urge others to veer away from NPA

By Daisy Jane M. Apit

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) – Former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) urge other members to veer away and stop supporting the communist group during a press conference held Wednesday at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - Caraga regional office, this city.

Julieto Canoy alias “Kumander Boom,” one of the former rebels who voluntarily aired their sentiments against the NPA rebels bared that extorting the vulnerable farmers and underpriviledged families in the mountainous areas has been their routinary act.

“Aside from that, they are deceiving the people in the remote areas and convinced them to join the group and fight against the government,” Canoy said.

Meanwhile, Arthur Tariman, convenor of Victims of Injustice, Criminality, and Terrorism in Mindanao (VICTIM) said that the NPA rebels respect no one. "They do not respect the innocents, even women and children were desecrated and made to suffer in what they call revolutionary justice," he said.

Former rebel, Caleb Lanaban alias “Ka Ryan” urged the masses in the mountainous areas to heed the call of the government.

"Please save your lives from the hands of the communist groups who are just using you for their personal interest," he expressed.

"The government has been reaching out to the people like us in the remote areas to provide us the programs and services we deserve, but the NPAs are prohibiting us from these livelihood programs and convinced us to fight against the government and even victimize other people of our own in the community. Do not believe them,” Lanaban said. (DJA/PIA-Caraga)


Former NPA commanders encourage fellow rebels to surrender

By Susil D. Ragas

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) – Two former New People's Army (NPA) commanders encourage their fellow comrades to surrender and abandon the armed struggle during Wednesday’s live radio interview here over PIA-Caraga’s 107.8MHz Power FM.

"We are calling our former comrades who are still taking part in the fight against the government to veer away and stop supporting with the communist acts for us to have a peaceful community and peaceful region as a whole," said former rebel commander Julieto G. Canoy alias "Kumander Boom."

He said that by stepping down, they will be assured of a better life by acquiring a legitimate job that can sustain a living for their family.

Meanwhile, Amado “Kumander Dodoy” Zata said that when he was still an active member of the NPA, he used to believe in the ideology of the communist movement.

“But sad to say we just ended up being slaves. We experienced more sufferings, caused havoc to other people’s lives and properties, and that was really the biggest mistake I've ever done," Ka Dodoy said.

However, Ka Dodoy stressed that it is not yet too late, "that is why I am calling our fellow NPA rebels to do the right thing and surrender to the government."

The former rebels aired their sentiments against the NPAs following the recent incident involving the lumads in Surigao del Sur. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Senate probe on lumad killing set in SurSur

By Greg Tataro Jr.

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Sept. 30 (PIA) – The Senate “Probe on Lumad Killing” by the joint Committee on Justice and Human Rights and Committee on Cultural Communities at the Villa Maria Luisa (VML) Hotel, this city, is set on October 1-2, 2015.

The Office of Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III bared 12 resource persons with AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri, PNP chief Gen. Ricardo Marquez, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon, and Atty. Leonor Oralde-Quintayo on top of the list.

Also, among those listed were five cabinet members:  DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, DSWD Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima, and DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

Moreover, Felipe De Leon, Jr., chair of National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Sister Eden Panganiban of the Association of Major Religious Superiors on the Philippines were on the list aside from Surigao del Sur Governor Johnny Pimentel.

In an earlier information, Guingona will be joined by Senators Bam Aquino and Koko Pimentel.

A week ago, the governor had already announced the planned senate inquiry in a meeting with lumad leaders, urging them to speak out in case of need.

Lumads, some 3,000 of them, had continued to take shelter at the Surigao del Sur Sports Center in Tandag since they fled their homes after three of their kin—Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo—were killed by suspects Bobby Tejero, Loloy Tejero, and Garito Layno in Kilometer 16, Sitio Han-ayan, Barangay Diatagon, Lianga town on September 1.

Meanwhile, warrants of arrest had already been issued recently, according to the Provincial Police Office (PPO) here.

Also, Task Force Bangkaw was created to go after the primary suspects. (Radyo ng Bayan-Tandag/PIA-Surigao del Sur)