By SHERWIN DE VERA
BAGUIO CITY – Farmers’ group Danggayan dagiti Mannalon ti Cagayan condemned the illegal arrest and detention of six Kalinga farmers in Isabela province.
Danggayan in an urgent alert message on January 15 said soldiers from the 95th Infantry Battalion under 5th Infantry Division arrested six farmers in Brgy. Panninan, San Mariano town on Monday, January 14.
The farmers were identified by as Espido Tamang, Jojo Tamang, Rodel Infiel, Arjay Zipagan, Tuting Ampa at Porong Ampa.
According to the group, the soldiers fired at the six farmers who were fishing at Pinacanauan River before arresting them. They were accused of being “pasa-bilis (couriers)” for the rebels. As per report of Roberto Turino, village chief of Panninan, the farmers were taken to the army camp in Rogus, Cauayan City.
In a phone interview, board member Marcelino Espiritu confirmed the incident. He said the farmers were turned over by the military to the San Mariano Municipal Hall at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16.
“Dayta ngarud ta basta da lattan innala isuda a saan a nalawag ti gapuna (That is the problem, they just took them for no clear reason),” he said.
Espiritu, who also hails from San Mariano, sits on the provincial board as the indigenous peoples’ mandatory representative.
Meanwhile, Isabelo Adviento, chairperson of Danggayan hailed the relatives, village mates and officials who assisted their provincial chapter, Dagami, to campaign for the release of the six farmers.
“Tagumpay ang paggigiit sa kawalang batayan ng mga malisyosong akusasyon sa kanila. Ang pangyayari ay patunay ng garapalang paglapastangan sa karapatan ng mga biktima (Our assertion that their malicious accusations are baseless is victorious. The incident is another proof of the blatant violation of the victims’ human rights),” he said. # nordis.net