Surigao del Sur gov’t to probe killing of 3 Lumads in Lianga town
MANILA, Philippines — The provincial government of Surigao del Sur, through a fact-finding committee, will look into the killing of three Lumads (Indigenous Peoples) who were allegedly members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Lianga town.
Lianga Mayor Novelita Sarmenmade the remark Friday after the military announced Thursday the killing of the alleged NPA members in a supposed clash with soldiers in Barangay (village) Diatagan in Lianga town last June 15.
Rights groups, however, claim that the victims were members of the Manobo tribe and had only been tagged as NPA members.
“Ngayon, mag-host kami ng fact-finding committee, initiated by the provincial government (We will host a fact-finding committee as initiated by the provincial government). We also need to ensure our neutral ground for a fair and just fact-finding,” Sarmen said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
“We’ll also continue to facilitate such endeavor para ma-serve naman yung justice ng tatlong namatay (so we can serve justice for those who died),” she added.
Sarmen said the families of the slain individuals have requested to delay the fact-finding activities to respect their grieving process. However, it will push through due to time constraints, said the mayor.
“‘Yun ang request sana ng family na hindi na sana muna ngayon ang fact-finding kasi irespeto daw sana ang kanilang grief. Kaso nga lang walang time kasi naka-schedule na ang provincial government na mag-conduct ng fact-finding,” Sarmen said.
(That’s the request of the family that we delay the fact-finding to respect their grief. But there’s no time because the provincial government has already scheduled the conduct of the fact-finding.)
“Siguro after sa libing, we will have a dialogue with the IPs [indigenous peoples] with the datus at malaman namin kung ano ang dapat naming gawin after these killings,” she added.
(Maybe after the burial, we will have a dialougue with the IPs and the leader so we would know what to do after the killings.)