The situation has not changed up to now. Armed and supported by the military, these paramilitary groups continue to sow fear among the Lumad.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The forced entry of paramilitary group Alamara in United Church of Christ in Philippines compound in Haran, Davao City last week is just one of the recent attacks of the paramilitary group against their fellow Lumad.
As early 2001, Bulatlat has reported the atrocities caused by “Alsa Lumad,” also called as Alamara.The Alsa Lumad then launched what they call as “pangayaw” against the New People’s Army. However, this is contrary to the true meaning of the word, which means defending their ancestral lands when all peaceful means has been exhausted. Instead of going after the NPAs, the paramilitary groups attacked their fellow Lumad.
As early as 2003, Bulatlat published a report detailing how Alamara was formed by the military as part of its counterinsurgency campaign. At that time, Karapatan in Southern Mindanao recorded a total of 87 human right violations victimizing 625 Lumads from January to Dec. 5, 2002.
The situation has not changed up to now. Armed and supported by the AFP, these paramilitary groups continue to sow fear among the Lumad.
A Bulatlat report in 2015 cited stories of Alamara destroying lives and dreams of the Lumad.
Here are some of the stories narrating the continuing horror brought about by Lumad paramilitary groups with the aid of the military:
The Kalumaran said soldiers of the 68th infantry battalion, along with Alamara members, stopped more than 100 people on their way to join the celebration of the 11th foundation day of the Salugpungan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center Inc. and the Bwalawan festival, to be held at the STTICLC grounds in sitio Tibucag, Dagohoy village, Talaingod town.
“The soldiers not only encamped in the community and harassed members of Salugpungan. They also aggressively recruit for the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) and for the paramilitary group Alamara.”
Lambid Malibato, 38, was arrested twice by the Alamara. But it was during his second arrest that he was able to prove – though it has long been common knowledge in their community — that the military and the paramilitary group were indeed working together.
From September to October 2015, three Lumád, including a minor, were killed by suspected members of the Dela Mance paramilitary group, which is affiliated with the dreaded Alamara.
Obello Bay-ao, a Grade 7 student of Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanuon Community Learning Center (STTICLC), was shot by two elements of Alamara who have been recruited as Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (Cafgu) on Sept. 5 in sitio Dulyan, barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte. Obello was rushed to the Davao Regional Hospital in Tagum City but was declared dead at 9:15 p.m. on the same day.
Alibando Tingkas, 15, a third grade student of Salugpongan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) in Talaingod, was with two adult companions when they were fired upon by members of the Alamara in sitio Laslasakan, Palma Gil village, Talaingod when and his two adult companions were fired upon by members of Alamara.
On July 15, 2016, at around 2 p.m., motorcycle-riding men fired at Bagobo leaders Hermie Alegre and Danny Diarog in sitio Kagaspan, Tagakpan village, Tugbok District, Davao City. Alegre was dead on arrival at the hospital, while Diarog was seriously wounded. Pasaka suspected the perpetrators to be members of the Philippine Army’s 84th Infantry Battalion and the paramilitary group Alamara.
As of 2018, at least seven deaths were perpetrated by paramilitary groups as recorded by Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples Rights.
At around 6:00 p.m. on Nov. 28, 2018, Save Our Schools Network (SOS Network) reported that paramilitary group Alamara padlocked the Dulyan Campus of Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc. (STTICLC) in sitio Dulyan, Palma Gil village, Talaingod Davao Del Norte. This is the main school of the STTICLC and was also awarded a status of recognition by the Department of Education.