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Karapatan calls for pullout of 27th IB from Lumad areas, condemns massacre of B’laan family

Posters in Davao City, Mindanao accusing the AFP’s 10th Infantry Division of being executioners (photo by Barry Dacanay).

Human rights organization Karapatan has countered claims by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that the Capion family was killed in a firefight with troops:

“It was a massacre and not an encounter,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan belying claims of Lt. Col. Alexis Bravo, head of the 27th IB of the Philippine Army that a Blaan woman, Juvy Capion, 27, and her two sons, John Capion, 8, and Pop Capion,13 were killed in a gunfight.

Initial reports that reached the Karapatan national office indicated that on October 17, Juvy Capion and her two sons went to their farm and spent the night in Fayahlob, Sitio Datal-Ayong, Bgy. Danlag, Tampakan, South Cotabato because they did not finish their day’s work. The following day, On October 18, at around 6 a.m., the three were still inside the hut when element of the 27th IB arrived and sprayed bullets on the hut, killing Juvy Capion and her two sons.

“There was no gunfight between the military and Juvy’s husband Daguil as the military claimed,” said Palabay. The military said that Danguil Capion, a B’laan tribal leader,  has taken up arms against the entry a mining corporation in the area, the Xstrata- Sagittarius Mines, Inc (SMI).

Juvy Capion was a member of Kalgad, an organization of the Blaan tribe that is opposed to the entry of Xstrata-Sagittarius Mines, Inc (SMI) as there are about 30,000 Blaan who will be displaced from their ancestral lands with the entry and operation of Xstrata-SMI.

“We call for the complete pullout of the 27th IB and other paramilitary groups from the Lumad communities. The military and paramilitary forces serve as company guards and they have harassed, threatened and intimidated the Lumad who are opposed to the SMI operation,” said Palabay.

Palabay said that Karapatan is “alarmed with the spate of killings among the indigenous peoples who, naturally and logically, oppose the operation of foreign-owned, large-scale mining corporations, as these operations are in their ancestral lands, depriving them of their source of livelihood, and therefore, their life and desecrating their culture.”

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2012 by and tagged , , , , , .

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