From September to October, three Lumád, including a minor, were killed by suspected members of the Dela Mance paramilitary group, which is affiliated with the dreaded Alamara.
By DEE AYROSO
MANILA – Even as the Aquino government continues to stonewall the calls to #StopLumadKillings and disband paramilitary groups, reports keep coming in about more Lumád killings.
From mid-September to late October, the Higala sa Lumád (Friends of the Lumád) issued alerts about three incidents of shooting by the Dela Mance paramilitary group, which killed three, including a minor in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon province.
The Katungod Lumád Alerts said the victims were: Obet Pabiana, 30, a Banwaon and member of Tagdumahan, Mankombate Mariano and Olaking Olinan, 15, both Talaandig.
Two minors, “Dodong” and “Nena” who were Mariano’s grandchildren, aged 10 and 11, were also shot and wounded. The victims were all residents of sitio (sub-village) Balaudo, St. Peters village in Malaybalay City.
The Higala sa Lumád said the alerts were issued belatedly because the communities were remote and the documentation took some time.
The perpetrators were identified as Mankolobi Bocalas and Manlumakad Bocalas, suspected members of the Dela Mance paramilitary group.
On Sept. 15, at 7 a.m., Obet Pabiana was with five others traversing a trail in sitio Balaudo. He was walking a few meters ahead, when he was suddenly shot twice in the body. Pabiana was able to run back to his companions, and before he died, he told them he saw it was Mankolobi and Manlumakad Bocalas who shot him.
That same day, at 2 p.m., brothers Olaking and Mandi Olinan were in Bayo, sitio Balaudo gathering abaca fiber, when Mandi heard two gunshots. Mandi checked on his brother, who was five meters uphill from him, and saw Olaking had been shot dead. Mandi then ran to sitio Balaudo and told the elders what happened.
The next day, Sept. 16, the tribal leaders went to retrieve Olaking’s body and found him beside the abaca he had gathered. As they investigated the area, they found footprints a few meters from Olaking’s body, and traced it coming from a spot some 10 meters from where Pabiana was shot dead.
The tribal leaders suspected that the Bocalas were also the same ones who killed Olaking.
Durian-picking season becomes bloody
On Oct. 27, at 2 p.m., Mankombate Mariano and 16 others, including 12 children, went to pick durian in Dulmatong, a forested area in Canangaan village in Cabanglasan town, Bukidnon. The Higala sa Lumád said it is a yearly tradition for the Talaandig community of sitio Balaudo to gather fruits from the area at this time of the year.
The Katungod Lumád Alert said Mariano was some five meters away from a durian tree when shots fired from the direction of the tree, hitting Mariano and his grandson “Dodong.” Mariano was shot in the chest and hip, while Dodong was hit on the left leg.
As their companions scampered away, Dodong rolled down a hillside and hid behind abaca plants. From his hiding spot, he saw Manlumakad Bocalas rush to Mariano with a machete, and hacked him in the head, shoulder and thigh. He also saw Mankolobi Bocalas firing his rifle at the others who fled. Dodong stood up, and was hit on his right leg, but was still able to escape.
Mariano’s grandaughter, “Nena,” reached sitio Balaudo at 7 p.m., and felt a numbing of her right leg. Only then did she realize that she was hit, and the bullet was lodged in her leg. Their other companions came home at 2 a.m. the following day, after staying in the forest without food or water.
In the early morning the next day, the community leaders went to Dumaltong and found Mariano’s body near the durian tree. They also found Dodong, who was wounded and weak, lying a few meters behind some bushes. In spite of his wounds, Dodong was able to return to where Mariano was, hours after the shooting.
Karapatan said the Dela Mance paramilitary men were identified as perpetrators in the killing of Frenie Landasan in March this year, and the wounding of five others, four of them children. Karapatan said the Dela Mances are government officials in Cabanglasan town.
Higala sa Lumád said the Dela Mance group told local media that they have affiliated themselves with the paramilitary band Alamara operating in the boundaries of San Fernando town, Bukidnon province and Talaingod town, Davao del Norte province.
“The Bocalas are members of the paramilitary group of Dante dela Mance under the overall command of Romulo “Bonggak” dela Mance.The dela Mance group are known to undertake criminal acts such as landgrabbing, exortion, and robbery, among others, and are allegedly backed by the Philippine military since 1995 when the group, then headed by Doro Dela Mance, posed as rebel returnees,” said the Higala sa Lumád in their alert.
The group also said the the Dela Mance group continues to harass and threaten the Lumád, because their communities protect the ancestral lands along the Pantaron range, one of the few remaining biodiversity areas, with old growth forest that house rare species of flora and fauna in Mindanao.