THE Human Rights watchdog organization, Karapatan, gives the title “Killings continue as the case of Tentorio and Capion remain in the dustbin” to their latest statement. It reminds us of the martyrdom of the Italian priest of the PIME missionary order. The young pregnant Juvy Capion and her two sons were also victims of military operations.
“Four years after Fr. Fausto Tentorio was killed on October 17, 2011, the schools he helped build for the Lumad are now the targets of military operations and are targets for closure. Three years after the Capion massacre on October 18, four more massacres followed. Meanwhile, the cases filed against the perpetrators of the killing and the massacre are not moving. Worse, the AFP-backed paramilitary forces continue to multiply and spread like plague in Lumad communities,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
“This is what the Aquino regime means when it said it is ‘working tirelessly to ensure their (Lumad) safety and to protect them from unnecessary acts of violence’ as a response to the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The BS Aquino government has provided the Lumad communities with ‘peace and development,’, a euphemism for deaths, disruption of livelihood and intrusion in the children’s schooling,” Palabay said attacking Malacañang.
Three years after the murder of Fr. Tentorio, on February 4, 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered the Special Investigating Team for Unsolved Cases (SITU) under Administrative Order 35 to wrap up its investigations within 30 days. However, the final SITU report was submitted only in May 26, 2015, 15 months later.
“The SITU report recommended the filing of charges against Jimmy and Robert Ato and Jan Corbala, alias kumader Iring (cat) of the Bagani paramilitary group. On several occasions, Iring attempted to kill Fr. Tentorio. Despite victimizing countless others after Fr. Tentorio, the Bagani group is still on a rampage,” said Palabay.
The Fr. Pops Tentorio Memorial School run by the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. is in disarray, because the Brgy. Captain in White Culaman, Kitaotao, Bukidnon threatened to close down the school, upon the prodding of the 8th and 23rd Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army according to Karapatan.
A year after the killing of Fr. Tentorio, five-month pregnant, Juvy Capion, and her two sons were massacred when elements of the 27th IB sprayed bullets at their hut. The soldiers were in pursuit of Daguil Capion, Juvy’s husband who was among the leaders of the Blaan tribe in their resistance against the incursion of the SMI-XStrata Inc.’s mining project in their ancestral land. A year later, Daguil’s brother Kitari was also killed.
In 2013, the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor found no probable cause against soldiers Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo, Lt. Dante Jimenez and 14 members of the 27th IB for the murder of Capion and sons. Later, the DOJ conducted the investigation and filed charges against 13 soldiers, but they exonerated Bravo and Jimenez from any command responsibility, despite their roles as commanders . The DOJ told the Provincial Prosecutor to file information for three counts of murder and one count of frustrated murder and violation of International Humanitarian Law. No arrests have been made.
On July 16, 2015, Daguil Capion was arrested for charges of multiple murder, frustrated murder and robbery. He is now detained in the Tampakan Municipal Police.
Is this the Human Rights legacy that President BS Aquino wants his successor to continue in the so-called “Tuwid na Daan”?