by KATHLEEN T. OKUBO
with reports from JPAK
TABUK CITY, Kalinga — The Justice and Peace Advocates in Kalinga (JPAK) in a press statement condemned the killing of a civilian hunter from Se-et, Mabaka, Tanudan, Kalinga by unnamed elements of the 50th Infantry Brigade on July 9, 2016.
Joaquin Cadacgan, a locally known civilian hunter decided to leave his position in the kaingin around 3:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. where he was stalking (hunting) for wild pigs (mangapaap) that frequently foraged on the crops in the kaingin.
Cadacgan a mestiso of Mabaka and Mangali tribes and resident of Se-et, Mabaka, Tanudan.
At dawn, on his way home from the kaingin, he met a number of government army troopers walking at intervals along the road towards Lower Tanudan, on military operations. Information say that he met two army elements first who were ahead of the rest of the troopers and after recognizing each other they continued walking in separate directions. It was a third army element who met Joaquin drew his gun and shot the hunter for unknown reasons. Joaquin died on the spot.
Later, local reports said that Joaquin was carrying an M16 rifle which he used to hunt that day. According to the same report the army soldier was alleged to have mistaken Joaquin to be a rebel and shot him.
According to other sources after recovering the corpse, the army troopers talked to the relatives and elders of Mabaka and offered to settle the case amicably. No other actions were undertaken against the perpetrators.
The same statement noted that similar incidents have also happened in other areas. JPAK also pointed out that Army troopers were reported to have set up camps in civilian villages despite protests from the local tribe or community. Like in Ag-agama, Western Uma, Lubuagan in the guise of ‘bayanihan’ (assiting in common community work) the government troops stayed for almost one (1) year.
Lately, 68 individuals were listed as new recruits for the Citizens Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) in Lubuagan. Some of them were tagged as rebel returnees by the 55th IB which raised public concern and caused individuals to file complaints. Prior to the alleged recruitment of CAFGU and the rebel returnees; according to JPAK, there was an alleged encounter reported between the army and the new people’s army (NPA) here in the City that supposedly resulted to the killing of two red fighters, and the surrender of all other NPA combatants involved, to the government troopers.
JPAK bemoaned the disinformation and the injustice perpetuated by the army avoiding responsibility in the case of Joaquin’s death, and the imposition on communities where they set up camp. “How many more of these incidents of “mistaken identity” or “nagkamaliyan” by government forces? Why is the crime of killing innocent civilians never acted on by government?, they asked. # nordis.net