JULY 27, 2015
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
DAVAO CITY- Human rights group Karapatan-SMR said that the DSWD and police investigation against support groups facilitating the evacuation of over 700 lumads in UCCP Haran should be directed instead to members of the police force operating under the orders of Rep. Nancy Catamco last July 23.
“Catamco made it clear that she was going to bring the IP’s back to their homes, whether they liked it or not. She even welcomed the idea of having to use force. Such is a manifestation of initial attempt to traffic the lumads out of Haran, when clearly such scenario is against their will,” said Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR.
“Agencies wanting to investigate the support groups are either dumb, or very dumb. Vice-Mayor Duterte’s intervention clearly showed that the lumads did not want to go home.”
“These agencies wanting to investigate the support groups are wasting taxpayers’ money in doing so. But then again, what can we expect from this government?” Suazo asked.
Suazo said that the DCPO and suspected intelligence agents under it were the “hands that did the dirty work” in the attempt to traffic lumads out of their evacuation site.
“Let us not delude ourselves. Footage of the incident clearly shows that the police hurt the evacuees who stood their ground, after an unidentified man cut off the locks of the gate in UCCP Haran. That was the first step to bringing the lumads out against their will,” Suazo added.
Suazo reiterated that some DSWD personnel have been to the evacuation camp only to do some surveys for reports that till now are unknown.
“Even few minutes before the violent dispersal last July 23, DSWD representatives were there for a dialogue. According even to the PNP, the order to disperse the camp was coming from DSWD,” she said.