Militarization in Surigao del Sur terrorizes Lumads
Residents were terrorized upon the arrival of soldiers and police in their communities at Km. 16 and Han-ayan in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur last May 19. According to residents, several soldiers entered the Lumad school which is being administered by Alcadev (Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development) in Han-ayan while others entered the houses of residents in search of the leaders of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU). They also looked for Alcadev coordinator Maricres Pagaran, Fr. Raymond Ambray and Lianga councilor Sammy Dollano. Earlier that day, the police arrested resident Eric Enriquez.
Using fighter jets, the military dropped four bombs near the community at around 3 a.m. on May 12. Five artillery rounds were also fired at the same area.
On the succeeding four days, drones and helicopters were flown overhead across the community. Leaflets stating “surrender now or be infected with Covid-19” were dropped from helicopters.
Meanwhile, farmers from Northern Samar also reported various cases of human rights violations perpetrated by elements of the 20th IB while conducting military operations in their communities amid the Covid-19 crisis. From April 7-18, soldiers harassed, threatened and coerced at least six farmers and a six-year-old child to serve as guides in their combat operations. The victims are residents of Barangay Deit de Turag, Silvino Lobos. Residents also reported that soldiers assaulted another resident of the village. Soldiers also coerced a resident of Barangay MacArthur, Las Navas to serve as guide in their operations last April 18.