Another Bayan Muna Leader Killed, Three Lumads Tortured

A Bayan Muna (People First) leader who was shot and wounded by two unidentified men in Monkayo, Compostela Valley last November 30 died yesterday at the Davao Regional Hospital.

Isabelo Celing, 47, barangay (village) coordinator of Bayan Muna Party List in Haguimitan was shot and wounded by armed men on board a red XRM motorcycle with no plate number, the local chapter of Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) in Southern Mindanao Region (Karapatan-SMR) reported.

Celing sustained five gunshot wounds and was brought immediately to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Davao Regional Hospital. The victim died yesterday at around 2:40 a.m.

Kelly Delgado, secretary general of Karapatan-SMR said Celing is the 86th victim of extrajudicial killings from 2001 to the present in the region. Karapatan has recorded 936 victims of extrajudicial killings nationwide under the Arroyo regime.

Delgado disclosed that before the shooting incident, soldiers from the 66th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army accused Celing of being a sympathizer and supporter of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“The pattern, motives and manner of execution are the same with all other victims of extrajudicial killings in the region,” Delgado noted.

Meanwhile, three Lumads from Sitio (sub-village) Calinugan, Brgy. Casoon, Monkayo in the same province were illegally arrested, mauled, tortured and interrogated allegedly by state agents on December 3 and 4, Delgado said.

The victims were identified as Peliton Awad, 42, Antolino Oyboy, 39, and Crispin Tompong, 44. Delgado pointed to composite elements from the 60th Infantry Battalion and 3rd Special Forces Battalion as the perpetrators. Delgado said the three were also accused by soldiers as NPA supporters. .

The human rights advocate deemed that the three Lumads were tortured due to the ‘desperation of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion to rescue prisoner of war (POW) Lt. Vicente Cammayo.’

Cammayo has been held by the NPA.

Delgado said the intensified military and rescue operations in Monkayo and the adjacent areas would only imperil the security and safety of Cammayo and would result to more abuses against civilians.(

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