“Pagkalinawan’s statement is a pretext for the speedy extra-judicial killing of [Windel] Bolinget before law and evidence will prove that this is a false charge.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Indigenous people’s groups denounced the shoot-to-kill order against an Igorot leader who has been slapped with fabricated murder charges.
Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) said in a statement that Police Regional Office-Cordillera Director Rwin Pagkalinawan’s shoot-to-kill order against Windel Bolinget shows the police’s “clear intent to kill and silence the Igorot leader.
In a report, Pagkalinawan ordered the Cordillera police to shoot Bolinget if he would resist arrest.
“Pagkalinawan’s statement is a pretext for the speedy extra-judicial killing of Bolinget… It is clear then that from the beginning, they didn’t have any plan to let Bolinget undergo trial for what he is being accused of and give him a chance to defend himself in a court of law,” CPA said.
The Cordillera police also announced through its social media page a P100,000 ($2,080) bounty for the arrest of Bolinget. According to the CPA, several copies of “Wanted” posters were put up around La Trinidad, Benguet and Baguio City.
Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination also said that Pagkalinawan’s shoot-to-kill is “extremely unbecoming, even criminal, for an enforcer of the law to deny Bolinget of his rightful chance to prove his innocence in court.”
House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate also expressed strong condemnation against Pagkalinawan’s order.
“Again the militarists are operating with trigger happy fingers with this kind of order. They are now trying to condition the minds of the people that Windel will most likely resist arrest or ‘manlaban’, thus, such an order is justified,” Zarate said.
Zarate said the order against Bolinget should be immediately revoked.
Zarated pointed out that Bolinget issued statements that he will avail of all available legal remedies to have the case against him dismissed. The Bayan Muna legislator said that if any untoward incident will happen to Bolinget, his family or associates because of such an order, they will hold the Philippine National Police accountable.
On Sept. 25, 2020, Judge Sharon Rose Saracin issued a warrant of arrest against Bolinget and nine others for the alleged killing of Lumad Garito Tiklonay Mabato in 2018.
Malibato was reportedly killed in Kapalong, Davao del Norte by the paramilitary group Alamara.
Bolinget has denied any involvement in the incident as he has not set foot in any part of Mindanao in 2018.