by EARL O. CONDEZA
NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley – Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy urged the Commission on Human Rights to immediately probe the circumstances on the killing of Mansaka tribal leader Pedro Tinga.
This came after a dialogue with farmers who earlier staged a two-day protest rally starting last Monday at the province’s capitol grounds.
The farmers group Hugpong sa Mag-uuma sa Walog Kompostela (Humawak) appealed to officials to look into the “violations” perpetrated by the 71st Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their operations in the towns of Mabini and Maco.
Humawak’s spokesperson Renante Mantos told Davao Today that Uy assured he will ask the provincial board to file a resolution to call for the CHR to probe the incident. Tinga, the 57 year old tribal leader, was killed during a military ground and air operation in his village of Barangay Malamodao, Maco on December 6, four days before International Human Rights Day.
Mantos said the governor also considered their other demands for the military unit to pay indemnification for farms damaged due to the bombings. The governor said he will write the commanding officers of the 71st IB to face these demands.
Mantos said they condemned the violations committed by the 71st IB including the killing of eight-year old Roque Antivo on April 3 this year in Barangay Anitapan, Mabini.
Antivo’s case was dropped by the Provincial Prosecutors’ Office last September for lack of sufficient evidence to pin the killing on the soldiers.
Last week, the Compostela Valley revolutionary government indicted the fiscal along with 23 military and civilian officials over Antivo’s killing.
The farmers’ group staged a picket on Monday during the provincial board’s session, but only Vice Governor Manuel ‘Way Kurat’ Zamora faced the farmers after session hours at six pm.
His proposal to talk with the farmers in his private “sabungan” was rejected. The farmers continued with their rally on Tuesday where Uy finally talked to them. (Earl O. Condeza, davaotoday.com)
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