Lumad families flee homes in Surigao del Sur
LIANGA, SURIGAO DEL SUR — Still traumatized by the death of their leader in September 2015, some 328 lumad families, or 1,607 individuals, fled their homes in 23 sitios in Barangay Diatagon here because of the heavy presence of soldiers in the area.
Dragging along their livestock, with some women swaddling infants in cloth tied to their necks, they walked for eight hours to reach the gymnasium in this town where they temporarily sought refuge.
The human rights group Karapatan said around 100 soldiers from the 75th Infantry Battalion had been staying in the village for the last 33 days.
The Inquirer is still trying to reach the military for comment as of posting time.
Among those who fled the area were 568 students and 48 teachers from eight community schools of the Tribal Filipino Program for Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) and the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (Alcadev), whose executive director Emerito Samarca was executed by a paramilitary group inside the classroom on September 1, 2015. /ee
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