Enriquez said another minor from Bayugan, Agusan del Sur suffered the water cure and was subjected to psychological torture. The 17-year old boy has been suffering from a mental breakdown since then, Enriquez said.
Around 69 families were forced to evacuate in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur due to military operations. “The soldiers have disrupted the classes at the Indigenous People’s Ministry. They went inside the school and confiscated some of the learning materials,” Enriquez said.
On Aug. 11, 80 families also evacuated from their homes in barangay Puting Bato, Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte. On Aug. 13, the soldiers allegedly bombed a Lumad community in barangay Pianing, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte.
There has been a series of four evacuations in the four provinces of Caraga region since July this year, Enriquez said. “The soldiers occupy barangay halls and barangay health centers. Of late, the soldiers declared barangay Mahaba as a peace zone,” Enriquez said.
The use of public places for military purposes is a violation of international humanitarian law.
Hundreds of families, including children aged 0 to 5 and pregnant women, were forced to evacuate their homes. (Photo courtesy of Karapatan-Surigao del Sur / bulatlat.com)
“Martial law is still being imposed in the region…It is even worse. Aquino extended the OBL and after the OBL, a new counterinsurgency plan patterned after the United States Counterinsurgency Guide will be implemented,” Enriquez said.
Paving the Way for Mining
“The OBL does not spare anyone, even minors,” Enriquez said, adding that soldiers kept on saying that their operations are legitimate because they are running after rebels. Enriquez said another reason for military operations is to pave the way for mining.
“Their officials [military] have admitted time and again that they want to clear the way for mining companies,” Enriquez said. “The resistance of the indigenous peoples and farmers is very strong,” he added.
He said the region, especially the Andap Valley Complex, is rich with minerals. The complex covers the municipalities of Tandag, Tago, Cagwait, San Agustin, Marihatag and Lianga in Surigao del Sur.
There are 42 mineral sharing production agreements (MPSAs), 73 exploration permits and several coal operating contracts which were approved by the government, Enriquez said.
“The indigenous peoples of Caraga would continue to defend our ancestral domain against the entry of foreign mining companies,” Enriquez said. (Bulatlat.com)