Thursday, September 08, 2011

Groups denounce human rights violations in Davao City

Members of the Anakpawis party list and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas in Southern Mindanao hold a picket to denounce alleged military human rights violations in Davao City. (Photos by Jonald Mahinay)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Sept. 8, 2011) – A Filipino farmer’s group held a picket in Davao City in Mindanao to denounce alleged human rights violations of government soldiers.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in southern Mindanao also joined calls for the pull out of troops of troops who put up a detachment outside a school in the village of Paradise Embac in Paquibato district.

Two local council members Leah Yap and Jimmy Dureza have passed a resolution proposing the pull out of the army detachment after parents of students complained about the presence of troops near the school. But Mayor Sara Carpio was opposed to the proposal.

“It is dismal to hear Mayor Sara Duterte issue such statement attuned to the military’s claims that the detachment in question has been in the area ‘by history and that there were no complaints from the residents,’ when instead she is expected to hear first what her constituents have to say about these lies by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Pedro Arnado, chairperson of KMP, said.

Arnado also challenged the mayor to look into the complaints of villagers against the military in the area. He said it was the Paradise Embac Parent-Teacher’s Association of the Basic Education Assistance Module program that appealed for the pull out of the army post.

He said they filed a petition with the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Commission on Human Rights to force the military to dismantle its detachment outside the school.

“It is the military operations that have been there for some time now, and the Paquibato lumads and farmers have always resisted these and condemned human rights abuses in their area,” Arnado said, referring to indigenous tribe in Paquibato district.

“The resolution aims to uphold the basic human rights of the Paquibato residents, especially the rights of children to be free from dangers posed by military detachments which use civilian communities as shields. The AFP’s Re-engineered Special Operations Team otherwise tagged as the Peace and Development Teams are rampantly holding Lumad and farmer communities hostage, encamping within their communities, to the point of imposing food blockades and curfews which all affect the peoples’ livelihood,” he said.

Paquibato is scene of previous fighting between military and communist rebels and is a known lair of the separatist group New People’s Army. (Mindanao Examiner)

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