Bombing and militarization force hundreds of families to evacuate in Maguindanao, Lanao and Ifugao

This article is available in PilipinoBisayaHiligaynon

Hundreds of families in towns of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Ifugao evacuated after a series of bombing and militarization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in their communities last May 23.

More than 600 families of Datu Salibu town, Maguindanao were forced to evacuate after the AFP rained bombs on Barangay Ganta. Soldiers claim they targeted a “group of terrorists.”

According to residents of Datu Salibu, they were startled when two FA-50 fighter jets and two MG-520 attack helicopters dropped bombs at around 7 o’clock in the morning. Soldiers also used 105 mm Howitzers positioned in a military camp.

Residents were dismayed as the incident coincided with their commemoration of the Marawi City siege last 2017.

In Ifugao, 122 families or more than 500 individuals evacuated in Barangay Namal, Asipulo amid widespread military operations of the 54th IB after a reported encounter with the New People’s Army.

The local government unit prohibited residents to return to their communities, gravely affecting their livelihood.

In Lanao del Sur, the AFP shelled a mountainous part of Maguing town 21 times last May 21 from 2 a.m. until the afternoon. They shelled the area again last May 28 firing seven times. The livelihood of Moro residents were gravely affected by the shelling.

On May 19, the AFP strafed a mountainous part of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte using a Black Hawk helicopter. Civilian communities were terrorized by the incident.

Last May 26, operating soldiers of the 62nd IB destroyed a corn field and stole a chicken of farmers in Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental.

The said town has been militarized since May 12 along with nearby towns of Isabela and La Castellana in Negros Occidental and Guihulngan City, Vallehermoso and Canlaon City in Negros Oriental.

Arrest. Police arrested Sorsogon peasant leaders Percival Dellomas and Darwin Guelas in a checkpoint along the boundary of Sorsogon and Albay last May 28.

Dellomas is a leader of the Samahang Magbubukid sa Sorsogon while Guelas is a regional council member of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Bikol. Dellomas was charged with violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act while Guelas with trumped-up charges of murder.

Last June 2, Jhen Estiller, a member of the Amihan-Bicol was arrested in Barangay Pinontingan, Gubat, Sorsogon and was filed with trumped-up of charges of murder.

Bombing and militarization force hundreds of families to evacuate in Maguindanao, Lanao and Ifugao