Media Statement – The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in North Central Mindanao Region (NDFP-NCMR) strongly condemns the criminal human rights violations committed and being committted by the bandit Delamance group against ordinary inhabitants of the barrios in Cabanglasan and Malaybalay, Bukidnon, especially the recent killing of three innocent civilians and holding the New People’s Army (NPA) responsible for the act.
For some months now, the Delamances have hunted those they believe have had something to do with the killing of Lito Delamance in March 28, around 9:00 am. This resulted in the evacuation of 93 individuals, mostly women and children, who, until now, endure the difficult conditions in their evacuation site in the capitol of Malaybalay and are afraid to return to their homes with the Delamance threat looming. Since March, these families have dispersed, fleeing the threat to their lives. Only recently have they united to present their case to the government.
Most recent of their brutal acts were the killings of Nono Landasan in March 28, Pepen Sulatan in April 29 and Juenabentura Lumbad in May 27.
Bonggak Delamance’s group also ambushed Rosella Cahanggan and her companions in April 15 in Ronquillo, Purok 6, Can-ayan, Malaybalay City. Cahanggan was on her way home from their farm together with her three children, all minors and the youngest of which was only eight months old, and Tepin Guaynon, 28. They were ambushed by the road and fired at by high-power firearms for more than five minutes. Tepin Guaynon was wounded in the incident.
They have perpetrated countless cases of harassment, gun-pointing and assault since March.
For some decades the Delamance group has been known to be a rabid counterrevolutionary and anti-people bandit group armed and used by the reactionary armed forces to impede the expansion of the revolutionary movement in the area the Delamances have claimed to be theirs. In 1995, the military orchestrated their fake surrender and presented them as NPA surenderees. They were rearmed by the military under Maj. Roberto Dumalahay in 1997 in order to terrorize the people tilling the land in the mountainous areas of Cabanglasan and Malaybalay.
Since then, they have used their firearms in hunting suspected NPA supporters, landgrabbing, extortion, stealing farm animals and harassing people. The group is also connected to illegal marijuana smuggling activities. These acts were not checked because they are being cuddled by the reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines, the police and some unscrupulous government officials.
In the past year, they have committed numerous cases of assault for minor spats, harassment and indiscriminate firing, as well as extortion directed against people farming or doing other livelihood in the area.
In October 2014, they killed Francisco Lasconia, 55, due to his quarrel with Jaiward Delamance. The family of the former fled and never returned to their domicile.
Because of their criminal and counterrevolutionary acts, the Delamance group has become a target of the NPA. In April 14, 2012, an NPA team ambushed Melody “Datu Manlagingkit” Delamance in Poblacion, Cabanglasan. Delamance was killed on the spot, but two Red fighters also died during the firefight that ensued between them and responding police forces.
The people continue to cry for justice for the victims of the savage acts of the Delamance group. Their crimes, as well as the fact that they are being cuddled by the reactionary AFP, must further be exposed. The people should call for the disarming, prosecution and imprisonment of the criminals. We challenge local government officials to make a stand and heed the decades-long call of the masses for justice. On the other hand, the revolutionary movement will, in its own means, persevere in serving justice to the victims and in punishing the bandit Delamance group in due time.