BY AARON MACARAEG
MANILA – An organization of national minorites condemned on Monday, August 31 the torture of Aetas following the bombing of their communities last week.
In report by Umahon Gitnang Luzon, soldiers from 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army ilegally detained Witi Ramos, Jepoy Ramos and Nalin Ramos from Sitio Lumibao, San Marcelino, Zambales. They were then physically assaulted and Nalin was reportedly forced to eat a soldier’s feces.
Sandugo – Movement of Moro and Indigenous Peoples for Self-Determination called on the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the incidents, and for the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, especially its commanding officer, to be “held criminally liable for their abusive acts, including the violation of the Anti-Torture Law.”
On August 21, the 7th ID also reportedly bombed their community, forcing over 659 families to flee their home. The military claimed the operation was retaliation against New People’s Army (NPA).
But the villagers belied this, saying the area was an indigenous people’s community. They have been opposing the mining project of Dizon Copper-Silver Mines, Inc., currently forcing their way into the community even during a global pandemic.
For now, the three tortured Aetas, afraid to go home due to trauma, are seeking refuge in an evacuation center in Barangay Aglao. (Bulatlat.com)