Tinoc folk want soldiers out of villages

Northern Dispatch

BAGUIO CITY — Convenors of the Ulnoh ni Kalanguyan Tinek (Unity of Kalanguyas of Tinoc), a municipal-wide alliance of peoples organizations submitted a petition to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regional office calling for the pull-out of military troops in their municipality, May 2.

CHR Regional Director Atty. Harold Kubaron received the complaint. Modesto Hanggoy, one of the convenors, said that Kubaron interviewed them and advised them to encourage other complainants to submit sworn statements to help the CHR in the resolution of the complaints.

Hanggoy, however, said other victims are afraid to submit sworn statements due to fear of retaliation from the state security forces.

Ulnoh also filed an official complaint with CHR against the encampment of army forces inside the barangay hall of Gumhang village.

The said petition was a result of the Second I-Tinek (Tinoc folk) Land Summit held March 26 to 27. The gathering led to the formation of the Ulnoh, with five organizations from six villages of Tinoc as initial members.

In the said petition, the Tinoc folk called for the pull-out of the Alpha Company of the 86th Infantry (Highland) Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army in Tinoc. They also called for the prosecution and punishment of erring soldiers and particularly mentioned Capt. Danilo Lalin who allegedly raped a minor in their headquarters in Tinoc. They also demanded for a stop in the militarization and human rights violations.

The petition mentioned that army troopers from the 86th IB perpetrated various human rights violations that include red-baiting of people’s organizations, threat, harassment, intimidation, destroyed houses, unpaid dues, getting drunk and causing public disturbance. It also mentioned that soldiers even stole and destroyed crops.

“There are many human rights violations we experience with the arrival of the Charlie company (that the Alpha Company replaced) 86th Infantry (Highland) Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Gumhang…There was a list (target list) that was spread to the communities that named the suspected supporters or members of the NPA,” the petition read.

“…[t]he spread of this list and other forms of threats, harassment and intimidation brought about fear and anxiety to the people. Those named and those suspected as members and officials of the LGU (sic NPA) are put into danger, their lives and security,” the petition further read.

The petitioners also complained that since the soldiers arrived, the folk’s right to go to work their farms, and go around their community was restricted and violated. Northern Dispatch

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