Lumad killed in Agusan del Norte
DAVAO CITY — A 23-year-old Lumad was gunned down in a hut in Sitio Bulak, Lower Olave, Buenavista town in Agusan del Norte province around 2 p.m on September 15, according to the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) in Northern Mindanao.
Rex Hangadon was with his father when he was killed, allegedly by soldiers belonging to Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion. Until posting time, the father remained missing, the RMP said in a statement.
“The safety of the elder Hangadon is uncertain as reports from the ground said shots were fired within the vicinity today,” said Janice Salas, an officer of the Lumad group Linondingan which is assisted by the RMP.
RMP sources said the Army unit tagged the Lumad farmer as a member of the New People’s Army. The soldiers said a firearm was found near Hangadon’s body but Hangadon’s family disputed the soldier’s claim, saying he was at the communal farm, stripping abaca fiber when he was shot.
On September 16, the Buenavista Barangay Council claimed Hangadon’s body upon the advice of the Army unit.
The community brought his body to Sitio Asda, where the police and an ambulance brought his remains to Cristo Rei Funeral Parlor.
The RMP sisters said Rex’s family was traumatized by the incident. “The entire family fears that if they go near his body, they would be automatically labeled NPA supporters by the Philippine Army,” Salas said.
The Inquirer is still trying to get the side of soldiers. MART SAMBALUD
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