Legarda seeks justice for 8 Lumads slain in South Cotabato
Senator Loren Legarda has urged the government to investigate the deaths of eight members of the Lumad tribe, who were fatally shot as they were harvesting their produce, in South Cotabato.
Legarda said Lumad chieftain Datu Victor Danyan and the others were reportedly shot dead by military forces in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu last December 3.
“I seek justice for the death of these Lumads who were just doing their harvest for the day when they were killed,” Legarda said in a statement on Saturday.
“This is an atrocious act that must be dealt with using the full force of the law. I urge authorities to investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the senator said.
Citing news reports, Legards said that the military was claiming that the shooting was an “encounter” between soldiers and Danyan’s group.
Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, 33rd Infantry Batallion, asserted that the Lumad served as “yumil” (yunit militar), or militia members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
Legarda, however, noted that witnesses said it was a “massacre,” and that Danyan was not a member of NPA but an active community leader.
”The families of the victims and the Lumad community demand justice for the death of their kin and the disruption of peace in the entire community,” Legarda said.
“I call on the government to urgently implement measures that would protect our indigenous peoples and put an end to these unwarranted killings,” the senator said. /kga
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