Suspects in Lumad killings remain fugitives 40 days after

Oct. 10, 2015

DAVAO CITY – On the 40th day of the September 1 Lumad killings, a Caraga-based human rights group urges authority to arrest the suspects.

The human rights group, Kasalo Caraga Region, said in a statement that “despite the countless opportunities to arrest the masterminds and executioners of the killings, not a single one has been arrested.”

Peasant leader Dionel Campos, Kiwagan Datu Juvello Sinzo and Lumad school executive director Emerito Samarca were killed in Sitio Lianga, Surigao del Sur by the paramilitary group called Magahat-Bagani.

The killings resulted to the mass evacuation of villagers in the towns off Lianga, San Agustin, Marihatag and San Miguel.

According to the group, “the truth about the killings and forcible evacuation has been clear since the first week of the incident yet in the delay, many lies have been forcefully fed to the public to justify the systematic military operation against Lumad schools.”

The warrants of arrest have already been issued against the criminals involved in the Lianga massacre for the crimes of multiple murder, arson, robbery, grave coercion and grave threat that were filed in court.

“The identified killers, who are also said to be leaders of the paramilitary group, Loloy Tejero, Garito Layno, and others are still at large roaming around the different municipalities of Surigao del Sur,” Kasalo said.

Meanwhile, two more Lumads were gunned down weeks after the incident in Lianga.

Kasalo said a certain Lito Abion who is believed to be a Manobo “was shot dead in San Luis, Agusan del Sur by men believed to be military assets last September 28.”

On October 6, Jupiter Pacquiao, a farmer from Algeria, Surigao del Norte was shot dead allegedly perpetrated by the elements of the police’s Regional Public Safety Management Battalion in the region.

Both farmers were alleged to be members of the rebel group New People’s Army, but Kasalo said these accusations were only meant “to justify their killing.” (

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