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Militia involved in Lumad school attack now in Army's custody

A member of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit who fired at the Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center in Sitio Nasilaban, Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte is currently in the custody of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade on Wednesday, an army spokesman said.

In a press conference on Wednesday, army spokesman Capt. Rhyan Batchar said they have not yet verified the events surrounding the shooting of the school, but said Rodel Buntanlog would be readily available for questioning if appropriate charges are already filed against him.

"We are waiting for the appropriate charges will be filed against him. But he is readily made available by the battalion to answer charges against him," Batchar said.

On Tuesday, Ramil Miguel, a school teacher of the STTICLC sent a frantic text message to his colleagues in the Association of Community Educators, requesting rescue after Buntanlog allegedly fired upon the school three times at around 10 am on Tuesday.

At 4 pm on Tuesday, a fact finding mission sent to Talaingod by the Save Our Schools Network filed a blotter against Buntanlog (alias Ang-Angoy) and the Alamara for firing at the school "where around 50 students and 5 teachers are holding classes."

When asked of the possible motive behind the shooting, Batchar said it was most likely "personal." Batchar said the information they have, which was mostly based on hearsay, indicates that Buntanlog was a former teacher of the school.

Ricky Balilid, vice chairperson of the Association of Community Educators, denied this claim in a telephone interview with Davao Today on Tuesday

In previous interviews, Balilid claimed that Buntanlog, aside from being CAFGU, was also a member of the paramilitary group Alamara.

The Alamara, according to previous interviews with Lumad groups, are Lumad militias armed by the military to hunt for communist sympathizers among even their Lumad kin.

The military in several instances have denied knowledge of the Alamara's existence.

[Source: Por Paulo C. Rizal, Davao Today, 21Jun17]

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small logoThis document has been published on 22Jun17 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.