CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: A protest rally held by human rights group in Northern Mindanao and other parts of the country marked the commemoration of the 43rd years since the declaration of Martial Law.
Human rights group here led by the Karapatan marched to the regional office of the Commissions on Human Rights, to compel the agency to act on cases filed against the military for alleged human rights violations in the region.
Fr. Chris Ablon, Karapatan spokesperson in the region, said the cases filed include violation of human rights against members of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) or lumad.
Among soldiers charged before the agency are members of the First Scout Ranger Battalion of the army’s 4th Infantry Division, based in Cagayan De Oro City.
Ablon said the cases stemmed from the alleged massacre of members of the lumad in Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon this year.
He said that one incident took place in Bugna, Misamis Oriental sometime in March where five members were reportedly killed and the other in Pangantucan, Bukidnon where another five IPs were killed on suspicion that they were insurgents.
In San Fernando City La Union province, Crisanto Palabay, a former student activist recalled his experiences during Martial Law.
Palabay recalled the lightning rallies held in the streets of Manila and the loss of his brothers. Armando’s body was never found while Romulo, suspected of joining an armed opposition, was killed in Ifugao and was buried with the help of his colleagues.
He recalled his own incarceration and that it was with the help of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines that he was released in April 1977.
WILLIAM JUN GARCIA AND PNA