Statement | October 5, 2018
Ka Joaquin Jacinto
Rodrigo Duterte, the first president from Mindanao, has become the mass murderer of his fellow Mindanaoans.
He will be ever be reviled as the mass murderer of the Moro people and destroyer of Marawi City, oppressor of the Lumad and pillager of ancestral lands. For all his declarations of love for Mindanao, especially the Bangsamoro, he has caused its people nothing but misery, brutality, destruction and death.
Just recently Duterte has singled out the regions of Davao and Caraga as areas where the “critical mass” for the Red October plot would come from. This could only mean more killings, arrests, oppression and other violations against the people of Mindanao.
Since June 2016 until December 2017, there have been 188 recorded extra-judicial killings of civilians, activists, lawyers, church people and local media in Mindanao, with 37 of those killed Lumad. Of all the killings, 70% were committed under martial law. There were 247 cases of frustrated killings within the same period, including the frustrated killings of 78 Lumad, 53 of which were volunteer teachers of alternative schools. Most brutal was the nine-day torture of Janry Mensis, 22, and “Jerry”, 16, whom 71st IBPA elements burned and tried to kill in December 2017 in Compostela Valley.
Since June to September 2018, 15 members of progressive farmers and Lumad organizations have been killed by operating troops of the AFP or their military agents. Last September 14, seven (7) Tausug youth who were gathering rambutan and mangosteen were summarily killed by operating troops of the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion in Patikul, Sulu.
Duterte and his mercenary AFP, goaded by the US, bombed to the ground and destroyed the thriving and lone Islamic city in the Philippines, Marawi City, using the pretext of annihilating the Maute group. The US-instigated attacks on Marawi resulted in the killing of 1,200 civilians, while 800 have gone missing. Still suffering and demanding to return to their homes are the 523,734 residents who have been dislocated by the mass murder and destruction of Marawi.
The US-Duterte regime is now on the path of “doing a Marawi” to the whole of Mindanao with the deployment of 75% of the AFP in the island. The AFP continues to bomb Moro communities, especially those around resource-rich Moro communities. Last September, bombings and mortar shelling were carried out by the AFP in Brgy. Bialong, Shariff Aguak and Datu Saudi Ampatuan, forcing hundreds to evacuate; and in Shariff Saydona Mustapha, killing a civilian and wounding three, all in Maguindanao.
The Lumad areas of Talaingod in the Davao Region, Manobos of Bukidnon and the Manobo tribes of Surigao del Sur are constantly being dislocated because of bombings and gross human rights violations during combat operations of the AFP. Not less than 59 incidents of bombings and 18 incidents of strafing were committed in other Mindanao communities within a year resulting in the forcible evacuation of 43,480 individuals, most of which were Moro and Lumad.
Since June of this year, the 56th, 72nd and 88 IBPA troops along with the Alamara paramilitaries have been occupying communities of Talaingod in Davao del Norte. They occupied civilian homes and schools and have committed grave human rights abuses against the Lumad in the area.
Duterte would like people to think that he is still confident of the support of the people of Mindanao. His policy of mass murder, however, shows his insecurity. The anger felt by Mindanaoans will surely intensify into revulsion. Not even the continuing imposition of martial law can douse the people’s anger from boiling to decisive action to overthrow his regime and hold him accountable for the mass murders in Mindanao. ###