Palace backs inter-agency probe on Lumad killings
Malacañang on Sunday said that it is supporting the investigation on the killing of Lumad leaders as pushed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the Department of Justice is backing an inter-agency probe on the deaths of Dionel Campos, Datu Juvello Sinzo, and Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (Alcadev) school director Emerito Samarca last Sept. 1 in Barangay (village) Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
“We note the statement of the CBCP on the killing of Lumads. According to Justice Secretary (Leila) de Lima, the DOJ (Department of Justice) supports the call for an inter-agency probe of the incident,” Coloma said.
The CBCP has earlier called for an “honest, impartial” probe on the deaths of the three Lumad leaders.
“[We ask] the government for an honest, thorough, impartial and speedy investigation so that the guilty may be held to account for their wrongdoing,” said Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in a statement.
Villegas said that the CBCP is “profoundly disturbed by reports that national leaders have been quick to exonerate the militia group of wrongdoing,” he said.
On the other hand, the Palace spokesperson said that it ensures the safety of all citizens.
The three Lumad leaders were killed by a militia group called the Magahat-Bagani Force, according to press reports. JE
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